Fan Fights NY Yankees 'God Bless America' Ejection - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Fan Fights NY Yankees 'God Bless America' Ejection

Posted: Updated:

NEW YORK (AP) - 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.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

  • SportsMore>>

  • Hard Knocks: Bills receiver Coleman can't escape Browns past

    Hard Knocks: Bills receiver Coleman can't escape Browns past

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 2:56 PM EDT2018-08-15 18:56:34 GMT
    Thursday, August 16 2018 12:02 AM EDT2018-08-16 04:02:09 GMT
    (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File). FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2018, file photo, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Corey Coleman talks to the media after his first practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Pittsford, N.Y. Bills newly acquired receiver Core...(AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File). FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2018, file photo, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Corey Coleman talks to the media after his first practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Pittsford, N.Y. Bills newly acquired receiver Core...
    New Buffalo Bills wide receiver Corey Coleman can't escape reminders of Cleveland no matter how hard he's tried to put his two seasons with the Browns in the past. 
    New Buffalo Bills wide receiver Corey Coleman can't escape reminders of Cleveland no matter how hard he's tried to put his two seasons with the Browns in the past. 
  • A rising concern? After straws, balloons get more scrutiny

    A rising concern? After straws, balloons get more scrutiny

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 10:24 AM EDT2018-08-15 14:24:51 GMT
    Wednesday, August 15 2018 11:20 PM EDT2018-08-16 03:20:37 GMT
    (AP Photo/AJ Mast, File). FILE- In this Oct. 14, 2017, file photo balloons are released in Memorial Stadium before an NCAA college football game between Indiana and Michigan in Bloomington, Ind. The celebration of releasing balloons into the air has lo...(AP Photo/AJ Mast, File). FILE- In this Oct. 14, 2017, file photo balloons are released in Memorial Stadium before an NCAA college football game between Indiana and Michigan in Bloomington, Ind. The celebration of releasing balloons into the air has lo...
    Now that plastic straws seem headed for extinction, could Americans' love of balloons be next to go pop?. 
    Now that plastic straws seem headed for extinction, could Americans' love of balloons be next to go pop?. 
  • Maryland takes responsibility for mistakes in player death

    Maryland takes responsibility for mistakes in player death

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 3:17 PM EDT2018-08-14 19:17:44 GMT
    Wednesday, August 15 2018 5:53 PM EDT2018-08-15 21:53:53 GMT
    Maryland has parted ways with its football team's strength and conditioning staff Rick Court in the wake of the death of a player. 
    Maryland has parted ways with its football team's strength and conditioning staff Rick Court in the wake of the death of a player. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.