At a Yankees Game? You Can Leave During “God Bless America” Now

A couple months ago, I mentioned a story about Bradford Campeau-Laurion, who was kicked out of the old Yankee Stadium last August because “he tried to use the restroom during the playing of ‘God Bless America.'”

The story now has a resolution.

You can move about during the song without worrying about any repercussions.

… The City of New York will pay the plaintiff, Bradford Campeau-Laurion, $10,001 and $12,000 to his lawyers in legal fees and costs.

“This settlement ensures that the new Yankee Stadium will be a place for baseball, not compelled patriotism,” Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.

“The New York Yankees have no obligation to pay any of the money,” Alice McGillion, a spokeswoman for the team, said in a phone interview today. “There is no policy change at the stadium. The policy remains as it always has been, that fans are free to move about during the playing of ‘God Bless America.’”

It’s obviously the right verdict. No one should be compelled to sing in favor of God or America.

Now, if someone can explain why the plaintiff deserves $10,001, I’d love to know the answer.

(Thanks to Matt and Benjamin for the link!)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Ron in Houston

    More than likely $1 in actual damages (I assume he wasn’t really injured by being thrown out) and $10,000 in punitive damages (to punish the behavior of throwing him out.)

  • QrazyQat

    It’s not “compelled patriotism”. It’s compelled listening to a song. Listening to a song does not equal patriotism.

  • mike

    It’s unjust favoring of patriotism and religion, since during a secular song like “take me out to the ballgame” one would be permitted to go to the bathroom, get a hot dog, etc.

  • This was a Yankees game. Maybe the $10,001 was to cover the cost of a good seat plus parking and hot dog.

  • Tyson

    Probably punitive damages. Though actual damages would seem to be worth the value of his ticket, which I would assume to be more than $1.

  • unTheist

    its not compelled patriotism, or even compelled listening to a song. Its compelled “stfu and dont move. Its an attempt to dictate the behavior of adult human beings who are not infringing on anyone elses rights or personal space. Its no different than requiring civilians to salute at any flag they pass. Its just a symbolic behavior that soem people take way to seriouslly.

    So, what.. it would have been more patriotic to piss himself durring “God Bless America”? When nature calls…

  • dave

    No matter how the case was resolved, I’m sure there are plenty of a-hole fans and stadium employees who are willing to insinuate their “rights” to beat the crap out of anyone they think is being similarly “unpatriotic”.

  • numsix

    I find this ratio bizarre:
    The City of New York will pay the plaintiff, Bradford Campeau-Laurion, $10,001 and $12,000 to his lawyers in legal fees and costs

  • I agree and disagree with this verdict at the same time.

    From a personal viewpoint, win.

    From a Constitution standpoint? The Yankees can do whatever they want in their stadium. It’s private property. They have the right to make you stand during “God Bless America” or leave if they want to.

  • Nahuatl


    The problem was not with the Yankees. The problem is that he was thrown out by police officers. That’s why it’s the city having to pay out rather than the Yankees.

  • «bønez_brigade»

    […]the new Yankee Stadium will be a place for baseball, not compelled patriotism

    Nor compelled worship!

    BTW, mewonders what would’ve been the Yankees/NYPD response to a fan replacing “Bless” with “Hates” or “Damn” whilst singing most patriotically.

  • andrew

    hahahaha nice post

  • 3D

    I think the plaintiff should have to pay $10,001 in punitive damages for being a Yankee fan.

  • TXatheist

    Wow, I forgot all about this and 3 weeks ago we went and saw the Round Rock Express baseball team and sure enough some god song came and I got up and went to the bathroom while hundreds/thousands stood still in silence.