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Old 04-16-2009, 09:45 AM   #1
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Enforced Patriotism?

This guy could have been ejected for the other reasons (who knows what the truth is there- maybe those are fabricated, maybe not)...but what about the policy?

NYCLU Sues NYPD Over "Enforced Patriotism" at Yankee Stadium - Gothamist: New York City News, Food, Arts & Events

As expected, the NYCLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a man who says two NYPD officers forcibly ejected him from the old Yankee stadium last summer when he attempted to use the restroom during the seventh inning stretch, during a broadcast of insipid jingoistic jingle "God Bless America." You'll recall that during a game on August 26th an officer stopped Red Sox fan Brad Campeau-Laurion on his way to the bathroom, telling him that he must wait for the song to conclude. When Campeau-Laurion replied, "Look, I don't care about God Bless America," the cop allegedly grabbed his right arm and twisted it behind his back.

A second officer then twisted Campeau-Laurion's left arm behind his back, and the two officers marched him down to the stadium’s exit, refusing to loosen their grips, even though Campeau-Laurion says he wasn't resisting them. He insists the incident ended with one of the officers telling him to "leave the country if he didn’t like it." When his story made headlines last year, the NYPD issued a statement claiming that the officers observed Campeau-Laurion "standing on his seat, cursing, using inappropriate language and acting in a disorderly manner while reeking of alcohol, and decided to eject him rather than subject others to his offensive behavior." (Campeau-Laurion counters that he drank two beers during the game and derides that statement as "ridiculous. That's completely false.")

After the September 11th attacks, Yankee stadium began requiring spectators to remain in their seats while "God Bless America"—and the pre-game national anthem—were played, in some cases extending chains to block the end of the aisles. The NYCLU argues that the policy, when implemented by the NYPD, amounts to enforced patriotism and "a violation of the constitutional principles that our country is founded on." Below, a video of the pinko America-hating hippie terrorist himself explaining why he wanted to empty his bladder right when God was blessing our nation:

YouTube - Enforced Patriotism
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:56 AM   #2
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After the September 11th attacks, Yankee stadium began requiring spectators to remain in their seats while "God Bless America"—and the pre-game national anthem—were played, in some cases extending chains to block the end of the aisles.
Where are those tea partiers now? Why aren't you all yelling communism now?
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:51 PM   #3
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Besides the forced patriotism, isn't anyone else alarmed at preventing people from using the bathrooms? That an anthem is placed above a basic right is absurd.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
After the September 11th attacks, Yankee stadium began requiring spectators to remain in their seats while "God Bless America"—and the pre-game national anthem—were played, in some cases extending chains to block the end of the aisles.


What. The. Fuck.



That is one of the silliest things I have ever heard.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:25 PM   #5
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If you're one of us, you'll wear the ribbon.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:34 PM   #6
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Besides the forced patriotism, isn't anyone else alarmed at preventing people from using the bathrooms? That an anthem is placed above a basic right is absurd.
Well and what do you do with children who just have to go?
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:42 PM   #7
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If you're one of us, you'll wear the ribbon.
I agree with this post. I don't see how anyone would object, unless they were a terrorist or some such.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:49 PM   #8
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Well and what do you do with children who just have to go?

Real Americans can hold it!!!
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Old 04-16-2009, 11:02 PM   #9
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Well and what do you do with children who just have to go?
Or pregnant women who have an 8 pound baby standing on their bladder, or an elderly american with a really weak pelvic floor, or someone who has a nasty UTI, or someone who has downed 1-2 litres of water because it's a particularly warm day, or a tourist who is not american and cares neither way about the anthem? Or just because some sports venue cannot and should not have the right to dictate with authority when someone is allowed to pee!!
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:49 AM   #10
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Well and what do you do with children who just have to go?
You let them scream as loud and long as they possibly can. That should do the trick.
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Old 04-17-2009, 05:51 AM   #11
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I find nationalism and patriotism extremely exhausting
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:16 AM   #12
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They allow for "emergencies", maybe the official policy is on their web site. This is a NY Times article from 2007

May 10, 2007
At the Stadium, Stay Put When the Music Plays
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT

The most patriotic moments at Yankee Stadium can also be the most confining.

Seconds before “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” are played, police officers, security guards and ushers turn their backs to the American flag in center field, stare at fans moving through the stands and ask them to stop. Across the stadium’s lower section, ushers stand every 20 feet to block the main aisle with chains.

As the songs are played or sung, the crowd appears motionless.

The national anthem has long been a pregame staple at sporting events. But after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Major League Baseball directed teams to play “God Bless America” before the bottom of the seventh inning at every game. Baseball scaled back the next season, telling teams they needed to play the song only on Sundays and holidays, which is still the case.

Only the Yankees continue to play “God Bless America” at every home game. They are also the only ones to use chains to prevent fans from moving during both songs, which concerns some civil liberties advocates.

Howard J. Rubenstein, the spokesman for the Yankees’ principal owner, George Steinbrenner, said the policy was an expression of patriotism.

“Mr. Steinbrenner wanted to do all games to remind the fans about how important it is to honor our nation, our service members, those that died on Sept. 11 and those fighting for our nation,” Rubenstein said in a telephone interview.

In the month after the attacks, baseball and patriotism seemed to be intertwined, and the idea to restrict the movement of fans was born. Lonn A. Trost, the team’s chief operating officer, said fans sent the Yankees’ front office hundreds of e-mail messages and letters and made phone calls to complain about how other fans were not paying respect.

“The fans were telling us it was a disgrace that when the song was being sung people were not observing it with a moment of silence,” Trost said.

Trost said Steinbrenner was presented with the fan complaints and agreed to a plan to restrict movement. By mid-October 2001, he said, the Yankees’ implemented a system using off-duty uniformed police officers, ushers, stadium security personnel and the aisle chains to restrict movement. The Yankees pay the city to use police officers as part of the security detail.

Trost said the ushers were instructed to allow fans with emergencies to move through the stands. Because one end of each chain is held by a person, instead of secured in place, the system is not considered a fire hazard, a spokeswoman for the New York Fire Department said.

Trost said the Yankees have not heard any complaints about either the continued playing of “God Bless America” or the restrictions on movement.

“Before 9/11, we recognized the spirit and importance of the way of life we live in this country,” he said. “We have always been a major supporter of everything that relates on a patriotic basis. Men and women are serving, and we believe as an organization we should remember them and how they are out there on the forefront.”

The Mets, meanwhile, have not heard complaints from fans about behavior during the songs and have not implemented similar restrictions, a team spokesman said.

Patrick Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, said teams determine what is appropriate at their stadiums. The Yankees are the only major league team to use chains, according to a survey of teams. But at least eight others — the Marlins, the Phillies, the Padres, the Rangers, the Twins, the Astros, the Athletics and the Red Sox — instruct ushers to prevent fans from moving through the aisles when the songs are played.

Some civil liberties advocates worry that the Yankees may be restricting freedom in the name of freedom.

“Yankee management is free to promote its brand of musical patriotism,” Arthur Eisenberg, the legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said in a written statement. “But we need to be wary of enforced cultural conformity and the use of a ballgame to impose political correctness on a captive audience.”

The organization said it would consider legal action only if a fan were arrested for disobeying the measure.

Michael C. Dorf, a constitutional law professor at Columbia Law School, said the Yankees had the right to restrict movement.

“It doesn’t violate the Constitution, because the Yankees are not the government,” Dorf said. “If they were a municipally owned team, you could have an issue because the team would be a state actor.”

Dorf said that he would be at today’s game and that the use of chains did not bother him and probably would not upset most fans.

“But at the same time, it could for people who have a different view of their patriotism,” he said. “It will be compelled speech or compelled silence.”
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:31 AM   #13
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Funny I just read a thread about this on SOSH.

If the guy is telling the truth this is obviously crap. The whole point of the stretch is a chance to get up, stretch, take a leak, buy a beer or a dog, whatever...and not miss any baseball. And it's not even the National Anthem...it's GBA. Anybody stops me from going to the can when I have to, I'm whipping it out where I stand and pissing on the guy, then he can sue me.
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:41 AM   #14
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Just another reason why I like the Mets better than the Yankees.
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:46 AM   #15
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This is tradition. I suppose a private entity like the Yankees can do want they want with their events.

But there are still certain patriotic traditions that our government has in law/regulation. Things like handling of the flag, and the presentation of colors and anthems...

Guidelines for Display of the Flag - Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

So, it's law, but there is no enforcement spelled out in the federal law, except that you may be imprisoned or fined (and the infamous flag burning cases/1st ammendment fights began).

What a lot of people don't understand, is that it's just a matter of courtesy/sympathy/respect for those who do see these traditions as a method of remembering or respecting a historical event or loss of life. If people understood that, I think people would be more sensitive.

But, it's a free country -- you don't have to be courteous or respectful. In fact, after 10 minutes of american reality TV, it seems our society values just the opposite.

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