God Bless America- or get out!

The stunning new Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees, was opened this week, though the mauling dished out to the hometown pinstriped multi-millionaires did somewhat spoil the occasion for the home fans. However, the news that a fan is suing the city of New York and the Yankees for being thrown out of the old Yankee Stadium during a game last August has captured the media’s attention. The fan, Bradford Campeau-Laurion, was ejected from the stadium after he left his seat to go to the toilet during the playing of ‘God Bless America’ during the seventh-inning stretch. The patriotic song has been played during every game at Yankee Stadium (old and new) since the September 11th attacks in the city, and the team has a policy of forbidding fans from leaving their seats for the duration of the song.
Mr. Campeau-Laurion, who has stated his objection to having to participate in ‘religious services’ and displays of patriotism, claims that he was grabbed by a police officer whilst on route to the toilet and marched down the ramps and out of the stadium, being informed that he should ‘leave the country’ if he didn’t like it.

It is not the first time that a patriotic row has surfaced at the home of the Yankees. In 2006, the then Toronto Blue Jays Puerto-Rican star player, Carlos Delgado, was roundly booed by fans for refusing to stand for the playing of ‘God Bless America,’ a decision he had taken throughout the season in protest at the US invasion of Iraq. Ironically, Delgado now plays for the Queens’ based New York Mets. He was also the recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award in 2006, awarded to the baseball player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.”

  • Youkillis

    And this – coming from a team who employs ‘A Fraud’ and any other number of perverts loose in the major leagues.

    Have they no shame?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Youkillis

    You know they’ll simply dismiss you as a BOSOX fan….

  • Jerry Remy

    If the guy is a Yankees fan he should leave the country.

  • I, an American, am not the slightest bit surprised by this. Actually, I’m surprised by the fact that he didn’t get mobbed by other fans before the cop nabbed, and ejected him.

    America has such stifling nationalism that one cannot even seriously question damaging political events, like the assassinations of national leaders.

    I found it so oppressive that I forced my early retirement from a tenured college position, and left the country permanently shortly thereafter, a decision I have never regretted. The answer to serious complaints was always then “leave it”. Its so-called freedom is a fraud.

    I have lived the past generation in Europe much better off both physically and mentally than if I had stayed in the States.

  • Jerry Remy

    Did you leave America’s ‘stifling nationalism’ for Northern Ireland? If so, that would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

  • Sorry, Jerry Remy, to disappoint your stifling American nationalism but I live Stockholm, Sweden. Have for the past 13 years, and the previous 7 in Portugal.

    While I have written a great deal about Northern Ireland, I have never even visited it. I tried once but the Irish company I rented a car from forgot to get the necessary papers for entering N. I., and its paranoid authorities would not allow me to get round the oversight.

    But don’t let this stop you from running off at the mouth about the USA.

  • the joxer

    It’s not just the Americans who are intolerant of players and fans’ disloyalty.Look at the Liverpool Reserve Team Goalie, Itandje, who has rightly been suspended for his juvenile but fairly innocous behaviour at the Hillsborough commemoration.

  • ArchiePurple

    Trowbridge, with your views it is a wonder your fellow Yanks didn’t try you for treason!!

  • Greenflag

    Too much patriotism is even more dangerous than too little . When they start lining up God on their then you are only a hop skip and a jump from the Ayatollah brigade 🙁 At least the present incumbent of the White House does’nt wear his religion on his sleeve and seems to be happily deficient in the so called ‘patriotic excess’ department . The way he has gone about mending relations with the rest of the world after the manic barberism of the Bush area is a hope for the world.

    God doesn’t bless any country. Never did and never will because there ain’t any God . And even if there were he/she /it would be too busy planning the next major mass killing via earthquake , war , famine or species extinction.

    There are no Iraqi troops in America -There are no Russian troops in France . There are no Chinese troops in Vietnam . Why should there be USA troops in Iraq ?

    Why can one million Christian ex pats working in Saudi Arabia (America’s ally and home of the 9/11 bombers ) not attend Church ? Because Saudi Arabia doesn’t permit Christian churches on it’s territory . But America allows mosques to be built.

    It’s all about oil and that’s all it ever was and that’s why in return for 4,000 American military deaths and those of 9/11 – the death toll in Iraq is now in the hundreds of thousands not to mention the millions of refugees and the ‘ethnic ‘ cleansing which was sparked off by american intervention .

    The Saudis (those patriotic allies of the USA ) have now displayed their grateful thanks to Uncle Sam by awarding the Mecca Monorail Project to the Chinese .

  • Might well be right, ArchiePurple, when I follow up this link with an article detailing several examples of the USA using WMD weapons to cause hurricanes, earthquakes and tsumanis:

    http://cryptome.com/0001/wmd-natural.htm

    Afterall, the CIA apparently tried to kill me in Portugal, and nearly succeeded, forcing me to move to Sweden, so treason is the next best option.

    We’ll know the end of May when I visit the States possibly for the last time to make sure I say my farewells to my siblings and their offspring.

  • Yacht.ie

    yankees have a history of this sort of thing. Mrs A Fraud wore a T-Shirt with F**k off written on it as a comment on a story. Followers of this fashion statement were not allowed to.
    The good news is that as a publicly financed stadium you can wear your yankees suck t-shirt there though fashion statements …. .

  • joeCanuck

    Trowbridge,

    Stop the bloody teasing. What did you say about an assassination and why exactly did the CIA have it in for you?

  • Rory Carr

    “There are no Chinese troops in Vietnam .”

    Not for lack of trying though, Greenflag. It is just that the Vietnamese well and truly kicked their Chinese ass the last time they tried at the beginning of the 80’s. But I do take your general point.

    Anyhoo aren’t Mr Campeau-Laurion and Mr Delgado both men of great quiet courage and integrity? I do salute them both for the inspiration of their example.

    They are the kind of men who cannot be expected to
    be positively referenced on the blog pages of those short-listed for the Orwell Prize one imagines, their courage and integrity being employed for nobler reasons than grubby profit and the deployment of prostituted patriotism in its pursuit.

  • I wasn’t trying to tease anyone, joeCanuck. I thought that everyone had heard the snide remarks about it by Martin Ingram and Intelligence Insider.

    For starters, read these links:

    http://codshit.blogspot.com/2004/03/confessions-of-american-exile-who.html

    http://codshit.blogspot.com/2004/04/more-confessions-about-americas-plot.html

  • joeCanuck

    Trowbridge,

    Thanks for the links. I had no idea that you had such a history.
    Hope your health is now better.

  • latcheeco

    Intolerance of dissent does seem to be a widespread problem. And it does seem to provoke fanatical, hysterical, kneejerk reactions in many who claim at the same time to be champions and defenders of democracy.

  • Le Corbusier

    Trowbridge H. Ford,

    You’re not the guy from Catch 22, livin’ in Sweden an’ all that?

  • Reader

    latcheeco: Intolerance of dissent does seem to be a widespread problem. And it does seem to provoke fanatical, hysterical, kneejerk reactions in many who claim at the same time to be champions and defenders of democracy.
    What’s your position on this sort of thing? “The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman.”

  • latcheeco

    Reader,
    Can’t see Guy Pearce nailing it. What do you think? 🙂

  • latcheeco

    USA ,
    Interesting that the pledge was originally written by a socialist, and under God was only added later (after some reluctance and debate) by Ike to counter the Reds. Sometimes the hand on the heart stuff can appear too much to the less sentimental.

  • McGrath

    Patriotism in the USA for many perfunctory types is a competition, to them if you are not in the race you are the enemy. I have the pleasure of knowing many US servicemen, some of them – very good friends have risked everything for the sake of a flag. Remarkably they are the least jingoistic of the group. I say remarkably because in the USA I believe the media or more likely urban hype has created a military stereotype that probably doesn’t exist to any effective level. When a gun has been pointed at your head because of your perceived loyalty to a flag, your real view suddenly become quite tempered. Sadly, I personally experienced this in NI, no doubt it has left me with a warped view on patriotism, anyway that’s another story.

    Unless the officer that ejected the subject from the stadium was following specific orders, I seriously doubt he ever saw active service – assuming he was acting on his own initiative.

    I have never been to a Yankee game. I assume they played the National Anthem at the start of the game. To add “God Bless America” (which is a much more lively tune, BTW) at a later stage seems devised to solely feed that perfunctory type I mentioned earlier and strikes me as being a bit of a cheap sodomy, as is the opportunistic enforcement of an anthem or pledge at every possible occasion.

  • Wilde Rover

    USA,

    “Thankfully the moron Bush is now gone, the Liberals have taken control of the country again and O’Bama has set about dismantling 8 years of that dumb ass moron Bush.”

    True, the franchise became a little stale and predictable under Bush, but you should give credit for providing so many wonderful years of entertainment.

    And I do think you are being a little unfair of the Obama reboot of the franchise. After all, while there are claims that “Grunts Gone Wild: Iraq” will be pulled from the screens there is always a chance for a big comeback.

    And don’t forget the commitment to providing exhilarating reality TV with such wonderful productions as “Afghan Pipeline”, or the much anticipated “Pakistan: Predator Drones”, and “Iran: Glass Parking Lot”.

    So less of the negative waves USA. We can be sure the Obama administration will be kicking ass and taking names in a very entertaining and patriotic way.

  • McGrath

    Posted by Trowbridge H. Ford on Apr 18, 2009 @ 05:06 PM

    Trowbridge:

    May I suggest there are two types on genius, the first being the “connect the dots” genius with a logical approach with one step following another with some way to confirm and support each step. The second is the “all over the page genius” who has moments of brilliance, of which few moments connect and in effect don’t add up to anything, with you being a member of the latter?

  • I don’t know, McGrath, as it just sounds like gobbledigook to me – what Eamon De Valera learned to his detriment when he took seriously more goobledigook from earlier McGraths.

  • Greenflag

    Rory,

    ‘It is just that the Vietnamese well and truly kicked their Chinese ass the last time they tried at the beginning of the 80’s’

    True . The Vietnamese ‘learnt’ a lot from the French and the Americans . The early 1980’s was still an era when the east was ‘red’ and there were still hopes (from a Maoist perspective) that the entire world would follow suit’ . The Chinese have obviously changed their tune and are on course now to ‘repeat’ the latterly successful Japanese ‘formula’ to defeat the west by ‘playing ‘ the mercantilist state capitalist card. So much for so called ‘free markets ‘ ?

    Former USA President Nixon helped of course to bring China in from the cold although I doubt if he might have done so had he had a preview of the early 21st century global economy in which the US dollar is being ‘propped’ up by Chinese ‘communists ‘ and other emerging East Asian economies .

    What a difference 20 years makes eh ? The next 20 should see an even greater transformation . On the plus side it looks as if President Obama is at least going to try to work with the situation. Not that there is much of an alternative .

  • Youkilis

    Indians 22
    Yankees 4

    Wicked awesome, dude!

  • Harry Flashman

    Yeah, Rosie O’Donnell and Phil Donahue suffered dreadfully for their opposition to George Bush, it was like Hitler’s Germany I tell ya!

    Just for the record Yankee Stadium is a private enterprise and they are entitled to demand certain standards from their patrons, if the gentleman in question doesn’t like their rules he is free to find another team to support.

  • Pretty silly answer, Harry Flashman.

    Tax money paid for about one-third of the cost of the new Yankee Stadium, so it’s not some kind of private club.

    And games take place there, so what if you favor a visiting team, playing the Yankees? Are you still expected to act as if you are a Yankee fan?

  • Harry Flashman

    No, not silly Trow, not so well informed perhaps but not silly, I concede that if the stadium is in receipt of public funds then certainly they have no right to dictate personal opinions.

    Now the next question, why in the name of hell is tax payers’ money being given to a hugely successful private commercial organisation?

  • joeCanuck

    Well that’s a silly question, Harry.
    Answer is that there are a lot of crooks around us.
    The Skydome in Toronto, now called the Rogers Centre, was promised to cost no more than $120M to build, private money, but the Provincial Government agreed with our crooks that they would provide a financial guarantee. Surprise, surprise, the place cost around $400M. The Province had to pay up and now were the proud owners of a property that couldn’t pay the interest on the money.
    Couple of years later, the Government decided that it didn’t want to run a stadium and sold it off to another or the same bunch of crooks for much less than $100m.
    So if N.I. is to have a new stadium, let the private sector do it; no public guarantees unless the Administration is prepared to pay twice as much as the highest estimate.

  • You tell me!

    The City of New York provided at least 363 million, and the state and federal governments must have chipped in a bit more.

    It is simply outrageous, given the price of the tickets it is currently charging – what is bound to make big profits for the owners – and the plight of those who have trouble keeping a roof over their heads, and food on the table.

    It’s just another example of taxing the ignorant and poor for the advantage of the socialized rich.

    P.s. What about the issue of two sides competing in games within its confines?

  • Tonio Grosso
  • Harry Flashman

    “What about the issue of two sides competing in games within its confines?”

    If not in receipt of public funds then the club can make its own rules, if other teams object to the Yankees’ stadium rules then the other teams can refuse to play against them until such time as they change their rules. After a couple of seasons of their first team playing their own reserves the Yankees might decide to look again at their stadium policy.

    My point is that private organisations should be free to decide their own internal policies in precisely the same way that the Dixie Chicks can choose to speak out against George Bush and their fans can choose not to buy their albums. It ain’t fascism, it ain’t the return of the Gestapo, it’s freedom of expression, on all sides.

  • deadmanonleave

    Yeah refuse to play them there, just like Linfield could say ‘We couldn’t possibly play at Solitude’ and the IFA told them ‘Of course, not a problem, don’t bother,just play them at home all the time…’.

    For sport to work, and I’m new-ish to MLB, there needs to be fair play all around…and standing for anthems etc is a choice… if a fan is thrown out for going for a piss at the wrong time…well…get a life!

  • Dave

    I agree with the gist of your argument, Harry, but Trow has a fair point about corporatism: “It’s just another example of taxing the ignorant and poor for the advantage of the socialized rich.” When you look at how the citizens are being screwed in the West in order to protect the investments of the rich, it becomes more obvious that corporatism – and, indeed, statism – is out of control and operating to the direct detriment of the people. Maybe we need a good old-fashioned revolution.

  • I found this link surprisingly informative, given its source, about the pitfalls of publicly subsidized recreational facilities in the USA:

    http://www.heritage.org/research/urbanissues/bg223.cfm

  • Chris Donnelly

    Interesting op-ed piece on MSNBC today, arguing against the Yankees’ policy.
    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/30281931/

    And, Youkillis, I have to admit to having been delighted by that Indians scoreline- poor Wang!

    (Maybe that’s just because I’m an embittered Cubbie….)

  • Don Mattingly

    I see there are lot of America haters on here. Get over yourself. The US is not Nazi Germany.

    On a weekly basis I see protestors in DC about various things, 911 truth, code pink, war crimes, etc.

    No one pays much attention, let alone tell them to “leave”. As long as they are following the rules, everything is fine.

    As for this case, it is pretty absurd rule. he should get reimbursed. At sporting events many people are walking around during the national anthem, I don’t know why this should be any different.

  • Dave

    Thems fightin’ words.

  • Sorry, Don Mattingly, but you essentially contradicted yourself when you said serious critics of the USA, like me, are American haters who should leave – the bottom line when it comes to stifling American nationalism. You like the calm critics who no one really pays any attention to.

    I have never hated the country, just its vile government which its citizens, thanks to their continued brain-washing, continue to support no matter how bad it gets at home and abroad.

    It is a fascist regime – one which has avoided the unnecessary suppressions, gratuitous brutalities, and militaristic demonstrations of power. It always portrays itself as nice guys who are just victims of vicious, ignorant others aka terrorists.

    It has a much longer shelf life than what Hitler was attempting from Berlin.

  • McGrath

    Sorry, Don Mattingly, but you essentially contradicted yourself when you said serious critics of the USA, like me, are American haters who should leave

    Posted by Trowbridge H. Ford on Apr 20, 2009 @ 06:49 AM

    Back to my original point about you being all over the page etc. Mr Mattingly didn’t say that.(unless you can see a reply that I cant)

    Obviously you hear voices because when answers don’t follow your imaginary train of ludicracy, you invent replies that suit your insane purpose. I’m alerting the Swedish Authorities to your presence, although I think you are communicating from an open IP address from some asylum in Pennsylvania.

  • That a way to play the ball, McGrath, when it comes to America’s brain-washed police state!

    Do you get paid for being an informer or do you invent stories about its serious critics as part of your civic duty?

  • Homer

    MLB’s most valuable franchise is…

    Some of the pricier seats at the new Yankee Stadium went unused during the team’s first home stand, but the Yankees are by far still the most valuable team in baseball, according to Forbes’ annual franchise valuations.

    The Yankees are worth $1.5 billion – the cost of their new ballpark – according to the magazine, which has picked the Yanks as baseball’s most valuable club the last 12 years.

    The Mets, valued at $912 million, are second and the Red Sox ($833 million) are third among the game’s 30teams. The average franchise is worth $482 million. The Yankees’ value increased 15% in the last year and the Mets’ by 11% because of their new stadium and cable monies, Forbes said. Ten franchises declined in value according to Forbes, the most since 2004. The economy has hurt franchises with a lot of debt or stadiums in cities with high unemployment, Forbes said. Rounding out the top 10 are
    the Dodgers ($722 million);
    Cubs ($700 million);
    Angels ($509 million);
    Phillies ($496 million);
    Cardinals ($486 million);
    Giants ($471 million) and White Sox ($450 million).

    New York Daily News