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Man sues, was booted for going to restroom during 'God Bless America'
Cynic
http://nbcsports..../30230537/

Fan cries foul over Yankee Stadium ejection
Man sues, was booted for going to restroom during 'God Bless America'

updated 6:12 p.m. ET, Wed., April 15, 2009

NEW YORK - A baseball fan who says he was ejected from Yankee Stadium by police after he left his seat to use the bathroom during the playing of “God Bless America” sued the New York Yankees and the city on Wednesday.

Bradford Campeau-Laurion says in his federal lawsuit his rights were violated at an Aug. 26 game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox when he tried to pass a police officer.

The lawsuit said the officer did not let him take a step before grabbing his right arm and twisting it behind him. It said two officers marched him down several ramps to the stadium’s exit, where he was pushed out as one officer told him to leave the country if he didn’t like it.

Campeau-Laurion, a director of Web productions for a media company, does not participate in religious services and objects to being required to do so, the lawsuit said. He is proud to be an American but objects to being required to participate in displays of patriotism, it added.

“God Bless America,” written by Irving Berlin in 1918, was played at big league ballparks throughout the country when baseball resumed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was discontinued in some cities the following seasons but remained a fixture at Yankees games, at which security personnel and ushers use chains to block off some exits while it’s played.

City lawyer Muriel Goode-Trufant said the city hadn’t seen the lawsuit but planned to review it thoroughly. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and a ruling that the city and the Yankees acted unconstitutionally.

Police spokesman Paul J. Browne said the officers, who were being paid by the Yankees to work at the Bronx stadium, ejected Campeau-Laurion, 30, after they “observed a male cursing, using inappropriate language and acting in a disorderly manner while reeking of alcohol.”

He said the officers “decided to eject him rather than subject others to his offensive behavior.”

The lawsuit said Campeau-Laurion, who lives in Queens, and a friend “enjoyed the game quietly,” though there were rowdy young men seated a few rows away. After buying a second beer an hour after his first, Campeau-Laurion remained in his seat, eating peanuts and watching the game, it said.

A Yankees spokeswoman, Alice McGillion, said the team had no comment.

Christopher Dunn, associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said it was a “troubling example of compelled patriotism” to force fans to remain in the stands for the playing of the song.

“It’s patriotism being imposed on people on a mass scale,” he said. “It’s the first person we know of who’s actually been physically thrown out of Yankee Stadium, but we certainly know of many other people who have expressed concern about the policy.”

The Yankees play their first game at a new stadium Thursday.
 
catman
That is troubling. Perhaps the cops thought he was one of the rowdy bunch nearby, but their treatment of him is inexcusable. There have been several instances of misconduct by the local gendarmerie in the DFW area lately too.

That 'enforced patriotism' in Nazi-like. I don't care for that one bit.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Hypatia
While entirely possible the cops made a mistake, I'm very skeptical about that.

With huge crowds of people it's far to easy to slap accusations of misconduct on them to cover up ousting those who don't go along with something like this.

I love the game of baseball, but with each passing year lately I grow more and more disgusted with what many are doing to tarnish the 'game', at least in as much as for those who want to play the game in the name of what 'baseball' has 'always' really been.

But how dare anyone - baseball team, stadium owners - anyone, attempt to force religiousness down people's throats in any public arena.

 
Doubting Thomas
“God Bless America,” written by Irving Berlin in 1918, was played at big league ballparks throughout the country when baseball resumed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was discontinued in some cities the following seasons but remained a fixture at Yankees games, at which security personnel and ushers use chains to block off some exits while it’s played.


Yeah, that's real fucking safe... what if someone has an emergency, or a panic breaks out in the crowd & nobody can get out?

Man this feels more & more like Nazi Germany. I mean, you can't even enjoy a baseball game without being forced to endure religion. But the fact they block exits during the song is telling. It really shows what the underlying idea of playing the song in the first place is.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
Hypatia
Surely doing this kind of thing is highly illegal - not only because of safety concerns, as DT pointed out, but because it also infringes upon people's constitutional rights (no doubt). Something will have to be done to stop this practice, and I imagine it will. This man won't be the only one to not put up with that crap.

In the meantime, when the fans start peeing (or poop, barf, etc.) on the feet of the cops, maybe that'll change their minds. It would, of course, be better for them to stop for the obvious reasons.

 
catman
The moral of the story: Don't go to Yankee Stadium until this policy changes. If it ever does. If I lived in NYC, I'd probably think it more fun to go to a Mets game anyway.
Edited by catman on 04/18/2009 03:01
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Doubting Thomas
But the part that gets under my skin is that they feel it necessary to lock people in while the song is played. I can kind of understand if it were the national anthem, since it's expected of people to pay respect to the song, but even then I feel uneasy about preventing people from leaving for any reason. But the song "God Bless America" is not our national anthem (though I'm sure Christians would like it to be), and there's no reason other than forced religious patriotism to prevent people from leaving the stands while it is being played. Again, it smells of all the forced patriotism Germans had to endure during Nazi rule, or perhaps modern-day North Korea.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
Sinny
Yeah DT that was my first thought. You'd think since 9/11 they would have enough brains to leave the exits free and clear for emergencies.

He said the officers “decided to eject him rather than subject others to his offensive behavior.”


So what if he was drinking and what offensive behavior, what cursing big deal, that doesn't make him violent or a threat to others or even offensive they are just words not violence. He was already leaving so that in itself means he wasn't a threat or a disruption to anyone. This is no excuse for what they did to him. I could see removing him if he were excessively obnoxious or disturbing the peace and refused to leave but he was clearly excusing himself on his own. What about offending him! he doesn't even have the freedom or right to leave when he is being offended.

What's wrong with this so called security? seriously WTF. Had they just left him alone and let him go to the bathroom they could have avoided a lawsuit and violating his rights. What if he had diverticulitis? or some other medical condition that required his having to go to the bathroom?


where he was pushed out as one officer told him to leave the country if he didn’t like it..


America is about being free and the fact that this stadium and it's security denies the people that right is unpatriotic. It looks to me like discrimination when they come out with "leave the Country if you don't like it".

What bullshit. He didn't deserve to be permanently removed or be foceably subjected to a ceremoney that has nothing to do with playing the game and when he paid to be there. This is the real reason they forced him out not because of drinking, offensive behavior, patriotism or even some distorted made up contribution to a made up god.

This has nothing to do with patriotism and it shouldn't be mandatory for anyone to sit and listen to the ceremony religious or not. People pay to watch the game not be ordered, forced and locked in against their will and have their rights violated just so security and the religious can go on a power trip.
 
catman
It's the old VietNam-era "Love it or leave it" all over again.Sad
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Bob of QF
catman wrote:
It's the old VietNam-era "Love it or leave it" all over again.Sad


Yeah....look how well THAT turned out.....


....can you spell Watergate? Good.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Hypatia
Doubting Thomas wrote:
But the part that gets under my skin is that they feel it necessary to lock peoplei in whle the song is played. I can kind of understand if it were the national anthem, since it's expected of people to pay respect to the song, but even then I feel uneasy about preventing people from leaving for any reason. But the song "God Bless America" is not our national anthem (though I'm sure Christians would like it to be), and there's no reason other than forced religious patriotism to prevent people from leaving the stands while it is being played. Again, it smells of all the forced patriotism Germans had to endure during Nazi rule, or perhaps modern-day North Korea.


I totally agree that is the main infringement here, but I don't agree to blocking the aisle exits even for the playing of the national anthem. Asking people to remain in their seats, and stopping concessions while the anthem is playing is fine, IMO, but forcing people to remain standing or seated at their seats isn't right, to me.

For one thing there's the obvious - large crowds, especially with children, people are going to have to go when they have to go. Second, these days people aren't not patriotic if they don't observe something in a traditional way.

And it's the second thing that even lead to this happening in the first place - attempting to force everyone to observe one thing we shouldn't - religion - in a public setting.

And we've been seeing, for sometime, that any one way of showing (or not) 'patriotism' can't be forced on everyone either.

What a stupid thing for them to have done. They should have known better. I suspect they soon will.
 
leo
I lived in totalitarian regime. Communist to be specific. And this is worse than what I experienced back there in one way. Back there patriotism was imposed on people from the top down. This cop volunteered!

I worry about the patriot/religious/right wing extremists, they have a lot of popular support.
 
catman
They are down but not out. Here in Texas, they aren't even down. Let's not be complacent. I know several people who seem rational until religion and politics rear their ugly heads.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Doubting Thomas
Yes, most people seem to think that if you don't support God & country, you're a Taliban terrorist. Of course Fox News & others don't help the misconception any.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
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