Forced patriotism | Commentary | -- Your State. Your News.

Jul 06th
  • Login
  • Create an account
  • Search
  • Local Business Deals

Forced patriotism

flagrow041709_optBY GARY BAUMGARTEN

Let me start by saying that I am as patriotic as the next guy and I stand respectfully during the playing of the National Anthem before sporting events.

I also like the policy embraced by all the Major League Baseball teams following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks of playing God Bless America at the start of the 7th inning stretch.

But patriotism, like faith, is a personal issue. And while fans should be encouraged to stand during the playing of both, it is beyond the authority of the ball clubs and the police to force anyone to participate.

A federal lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union alleges that a fan was forcefully ejected from Yankee Stadium by uniformed cops when he decided to go to the restroom rather than remain in his seat for the playing of God Bless America.

baumgarten041709_optApparently the Yankees force this new tradition on their fans. And they use uniformed cops to enforce the rule.

What the Yankees, and the police, are doing, is actually unpatriotic. And runs contrary to what this nation is about.

Those who founded the United States of America did so because others imposed their will on them. If the facts in the lawsuit are true, the Yankees and the NYPD should be ashamed of themselves.

We talk about issues like this and more weekdays at 5 PM New York time on News Talk Online on or at Baumgarten has been a journalist since 1969.

Comments (2)
2 Wednesday, 29 April 2009 12:46
but concerning this I do not agree. If this was taken to court, I feel that most judges would rule in favor of a person walking to the John while the anthem was playing or even staying seated. I feel as long as the person/s is silent and respectful, there is no harm done.
1 Wednesday, 22 April 2009 13:35
I agree with their rule if.... its posted before buying a ticket and before entering the ballpark. That way if you don't like the rule don't buy a ticket or go to the ballpark. strictly volunteer and choice, no one making you do anything you don't want to.

Add your comment

Your name:

Follow/join us

Twitter: njnewsroom Linked In Group: 2483509