Fascism At Yankee Stadium

A fan was thrown out of Yankee Stadium on Tuesday for going to the bathroom during the 7th inning stretch, when “God Bless America” is played.

As Brad Campeau-Laurion was headed into the tunnel to exit his section, he was stopped by a NYPD officer who told him he had to wait until the end of the song.

In an e-mail to Gothamist, Campeau-Laurion said:

He informed me that I had to wait until the song was over. I responded that I had to use the restroom and that I did not care about God Bless America.

As soon as the latter came out of my mouth, my right arm was twisted violently behind my back and I was informed that I was being escorted out of the stadium. A second officer then joined in and twisted my left arm, also in an excessively forceful manner, behind my back. I informed them they were violating my First Amendment rights and that I had done nothing wrong, with no response from them.

I was sitting in the Tier Level, and of course this is the highest level of the stadium and I was escorted in this painful manner down the entire length of the stadium. About halfway down, I informed them that they were hurting me, repeated that I had done nothing wrong, and that I was not resisting nor talking back to them. One of them said something to the effect that if I continued to speak, he would find a way to hurt me more.

When we reached the exit of the stadium, they confiscated my ticket and the first officer shoved me through the turnstiles, saying ‘Get the hell out of my country if you don’t like it.’

Nowhere on the Yankee Stadium ticket policy nor on any posted sign does it say that forced patriotism is a required element to attend a baseball game. Nowhere in the laws of this country would that begin to be defensible.

The NYPD has claimed that Campeau-Laurion was ejected for “standing on his seat, cursing… and acting in a disorderly manner while reeking of alcohol.”

This claim is refuted by Pete Montenez who contacted CBS 2 News (who has been the only local TV station covering this story).  Montenez does not know Campeau-Laurion, but was sitting near him during the game, saying he watched as it all went down.

“As far as him hootin’ and hollerin’ and standing on the chair, no way,” he says.

(Video of the CBS 2 report can be found here.)

Metsie is not at all surprised at what happened because we had a problem during “God Bless America” at a 2007 Subway Series game. Metsie and (soon to be) Mrs. Metsie stood out of respect for the playing of the song but we did not remove our caps.

The PA announcer does not make an announcement requesting that people remove their caps for the song and we both do not like how the Yankees continue to be the only team to play the song everyday.  We are not anti-America or pro-9/11, just anti-the Yankee “we are better than you” attitude.

Its funny how the YES Network will not go to commercial until after “God Bless America” is played but doesn’t take time to show the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner” before the game.

Why?  Because “God Bless America” extends the amount of time during the mid-7th inning break.  In other words, they can show it (and show how patriotic the Yankees are in comparison to all other teams) without having to lose revenue from commercial sponsors.

Meanwhile, the playing of the anthem comes at a time when YES is busy showing pre-game commercials and doing their setup for that night’s game.

Jingoism stinks, plain and simple.

So after the song begins, people a few rows behind us start yelling that we should remove our caps.  I yelled back asking them if there was announcement to reove caps but, that didn’t matter to them.  I then also pointed out to them that it was just a song and not the National Anthem.  Plus, by talking and yelling during the song, they were the ones that weren’t paying respect.

All this logic was lost on the morons.

People even followed me into the bathroom and tried to start a fight with me.

This is what happens when Jingoism runs amok and hope the Yankees learn a lesson from what transpired on Tuesday.


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