Patriotism, or else
Most of us put up no resistance when it comes to standing and showing respect during the playing of the national anthem, and we'll dutifully recite the Pledge of Allegiance if called upon to do so, but at Yankee Stadium, mindless displays of pseudo-patriotism apparently are a requirement. A Yankees fan says he was tossed from the stadium the other day when he tried to use the bathroom during the playing of "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch. Bradford Campeau-Laurion told news outlets that a police officer blocked him from leaving the seating area. When he explained that his immediate priority was taking care of his biological needs, two NYPD officers allegedly pinned his arms behind him and threw him out of the ballpark. A police department official claims that Campeau-Laurion was removed because he was drunk and disorderly, but the fan and the person he was attending the game with are vehement that the police are lying. What kind of country are we living in if we force a person to stand for the anthem, stay in their seats during a patriotic song or recite a pledge of allegiance? Sounds a lot like the regime in Beijing, to me. The playing of the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the beginning of ballgames is a tradition, but I don't think it moves many people to feel patriotic. It's just part of a routine. And if it's so important, why is it that just about the only place we hear the anthem or "God Bless America" is at a meaningless sporting event?