General Question

GeorgeGee's avatar

Do you think a ballpark should have the right to throw you out for not "being patriotic enough?"?

Asked by GeorgeGee (4920points) November 15th, 2010

On August 26, 2008, a fan at a Boston Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium, who had attempted to leave for the restroom during the playing of God Bless America was restrained and ejected by NYPD officers. On September 15, 2009, three high school teens filed a lawsuit against New Jersey’s minor league Newark Bears for being ejected from Eagles Riverfront Stadium over their refusal to stand during the playing of “God Bless America” on June 29, 2009. Before being ejected, they were asked to leave the stadium by Bears’ president and co-owner Thomas Cetnar. What do you think of “patriotism by force?”

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67 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It is wrong, and it is, I believe, actionable. We need a few lawsuits to restrain these owners and stadium personnel.

Blackberry's avatar

That’s pretty extreme.

crisw's avatar

Here’s a story about the New York cse. I am glad the NYCLU won that one.

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JustmeAman's avatar

Where do we draw the line? I guess if the Ball Park is privately owned the owner can make his own rules but he should consider the public out cry over his actions.

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CyanoticWasp's avatar

@SixtyNine to the extent that the ballparks are almost universally created via government powers of eminent domain, and in every case that I’m aware of funded at least in part by tax revenues, ‘ownership’ rights are not absolute, as they would be in a person’s home.

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tranquilsea's avatar

I’d say that such action is fanatical. Forced anything usually is.

buckyboy28's avatar

Just another reason why the Yankees Suck!

But seriously, I don’t think people should be forced to be patriotic, but they should still be respectful. How tough is it to wait until the end of the national anthem or “God Bless America” before you pee, or just stand while it plays? It doesn’t mean you have to place your hand over your heart, you just don’t have to use it to make a political statement.

If they are making a scene, then they should be ejected (if they’re being unruly), but if they aren’t, let it be.

iamthemob's avatar

My reaction to the first (New York) is more outrage, whereas to the second (Chicago) is just upset.

The fact that the NYPD was involved is why, rightfully, the person ejected won the suit. That is an action that very well appears to be under state authority. The state has no business at all mandating patriotic behavior – that’s against free speech in every sense.

In terms of Chicago – well…I can only say that’s wrong, and I would never buy a ticket to a game unless the policy was reversed and an apology issued.

YoBob's avatar

While I don’t agree with forced patriotism, at the end of the day the ball park is private property and the management can eject you for whatever reasons they see fit.

Winters's avatar

This reminds me of something my 3rd grade teach did.

Pretty much she was at a baseball game and right after God Bless America started she noticed a teenage boy sitting down a few rows in front of her. She headed down and made the kid stand with his hand over his heart for the remainder of the song. Ah, that scary old hag, I hope she burns in hell (she tried to put me into special ed but that’s another story).

I think it’s wrong to eject people for simply not being patriotic, or forcing them to be patriotic like my 3rd grade teacher. But I find it to be disrespectful to an extent that they don’t do at least the very minimum.

tinyfaery's avatar

Only if they reimburse the price of the ticket.

JLeslie's avatar

That is bull shit. No one should be forced to stand during God Bless America or any other symbolic American song or pledge. If they were disruptive, that is a different story, but choosing not to stand? This is the sort of thing to be afraid of, nationalistic type of expectations from people and the state, that is why some people compared our time during the Bush administration as Hitleresque (I don’t think Bush was pushing this, but his supporters encouraged it) it is beyond patriotism. There are laws to ensure children do not have to stand during the pledge in school, same logic should apply here. Someone walking out of a bathroom in a stadium—so what.

JLeslie's avatar

@JustmeAman I think that type of logic gets tricky. People are not allowed to not serve black people, just because they own the restaurant. Somtimes the government interferes, or puts demands on, a private owner’s business and property if they serve the public.

JustmeAman's avatar

I understand @JLeslie but if you own the resturant you don’t have to serve anyone you don’t want too.

JLeslie's avatar

@JustmeAman I actually am not sure if that is true? I know when I worked in retail, we certainly did in rare instances, forbid people from shopping in the store, but I don’t think we could have done it legally based on race, religion, or lack of patriotism? I really am not sure what laws do, or do not, regulate such things.

PupnTaco's avatar

Point: was this “God Bless America” or “The Star-Spangled Banner,” our national anthem?

Rarebear's avatar

Maybe he was ejected because he was a Red Sox fan in Yankee Stadium.

JLeslie's avatar

@PupnTaco Why does that make a difference?

cockswain's avatar

Who gives a crap if someone doesn’t want to sing “God Bless America”? It was asinine they were ejected for that. Since when is attending a baseball game a patriotic event anyways?

GeorgeGee's avatar

Actually @JustmeAman….
“Federal law prohibits privately owned facilities that offer food, lodging, gasoline or entertainment to the public from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. If you think that you have been discriminated against in using such a facility, you may file a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, or with the United States attorney in your area. You may also file suit in the U.S. district court.”
http://public.findlaw.com/civil-rights/more-civil-rights-topics/public-accommodation-civil-rights-more/public-accommodation-discrimination-enforcement.html

JLeslie's avatar

@GeorgeGee Thanks for that. I figured there was some sort of law.

JustmeAman's avatar

You don’t have to say you are not serving based on race, color, religion or national origin. One resturant refused to serve anyone that didn’t speak English and it was supported by local law.

JLeslie's avatar

@JustmeAman That is a dsgrace. Where was that supported? What state?

wundayatta's avatar

There’s a place like that in Philadelphia. I have never eaten there, and I never will.

JustmeAman's avatar

It was in Philly.

mammal's avatar

They have the right, i and have the right to fire bomb it later that night, after one too many shots at the bar, next time they’ll understand that America is free, that involves the right not to show due deference to the flag or the anthem, get it? that’s the point of freedom.

JLeslie's avatar

Philly! What an absolute embarrassment. City of brotherly love. A very diverse city also. What a disappointment.

wundayatta's avatar

@JLeslie It’s called Geno’s steaks. Fortunately, across the street is Pat’s steaks. Pat’s is much better (don’t ask me how I know). These two corners are the heart of the cheesesteak war in Philadelphia. There are demonstrations and you got to know how to order because they push you through so fast. There are signs explaining how to order, and even how to say it (“Two steaks wit). With onions, that is.

Geno has become something of a celebrity due to this “English Only” policy. I think he may even be running or have run for some political office. Hey! It’s South Philly! What can I say?

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta I just found an article owner is Joe Vento. I just want to know if his family spoke English when they got off the boat, and I hope they were not WOP’s. Horrible.

flutherother's avatar

Patriotism can easily become fascism. People should show respect for their national anthem but respect can’t be enforced. It is a free country and that means freedom to use the john when you need it.

iamthemob's avatar

@JLeslie – I think the term “undocumented” would be a better term, even if you’re using the more pejorative version as a commentary on the irony of his refusal, and even referencing the acronym and not, with intent, the national origin of the group. ;-)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I suppose, as a private establishment, they have a right to be as ignorant and asinine as they like – however, as @iamthemob pointed out, the NYPD had no right to do what they did. I won’t even bother talking about how dumb I think forced patriotism is of whether people getting up just because everyone else is getting up are such big patriots, to begin with.

JLeslie's avatar

@iamthemob I absolutely used that term because that shop owner is being discriminatory, otherwise I would never use it. I stand by my sentence. I have people all around me who seem to forget their families came here as immigrants themselves. Let alone tourists who we should have no expectation of them speaking fluently. I see that @wundayatta pointed out there is an expectation that people can order quickly and use the lingo, I am sure they are very busy. So, maybe it is not so much they have a problem with non-English speaking people, but with people who are going to hold up the line. Non-English speaking people would not even notice the sign he posted, they would not understand if they did notice it, just to point out a funny irony, unless it is written in Spanish, or some other language.

iamthemob's avatar

@JLeslie – I assumed that – I should have used “though” or “although” in the sentence instead of “if” – to make it clear that I was assuming the use of the term to elucidate the hypocrisy.

JLeslie's avatar

@iamthemob WOP was specifically used in history regarding Italians, and so I used it aimed directly for this specific situation. I did understand that you were guessing I used the word because of the hypocrisy, but thanks for clarifying anyway. :)

JLeslie's avatar

@iamthemob Hahaha, I just thought about your user name I am the mob. Cracked me up.

iamthemob's avatar

it’s actually based on the title of a Welsh rock song…but it’s ironic that despite that it’s a fitting screenname considering various prejudices associated with Italians in this case.

JLeslie's avatar

@iamthemob So you are Italian? Is that correct? Lol. Don’t worry, I think the mafia comes in many different nationalities, and I certainly don’t think all Italians are in the mob.

iamthemob's avatar

@JLeslie – I’m probably the least Italian ever.

cockswain's avatar

what’s the opposite of italian? I’m half Lithuanian, maybe that’s it.

iamthemob's avatar

nailati is the opposite of italian.

JLeslie's avatar

What is nailati?

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Oh. Lol. So it is basically a non answer.

@iamthemob I still wonder what the opposite of Italian is? I don’t think of myself as the opposite of anything concerning nationality, race, religion, anything like that.

GeorgeGee's avatar

Directly opposite Italy is New Zealand.

cockswain's avatar

That seems right somehow. I’ll try and use that in a conversation sometime.

It’s day and night, Italian and New Zealander.”

PupnTaco's avatar

@JLeslie simply for the sake of accuracy.

Blueroses's avatar

“God Bless America” is a traditional song but not our official anthem. Singing or not singing it or any song should be left to individual choice. Can they also choose to oust you for not singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch?

Is the expectation clearly stated on the ticket?

tigress3681's avatar

Any national anthem, being played deserves respect, standing erect, hand over heart, no talking. Any other song is entertainment and thus optional, imo. Emergencies should be excepted. I think potty breaks are minor emergencies and as long as the offenders are not making a spectacle while they depart during the anthems, then there should not be a problem.

However, if the ball park is a privately owned establishment, and I assume it is not government owned, they have the right to eject anyone they please for any reason they please. I would just hope that they would have a set of rules available for potential customers to view.

cockswain's avatar

God Bless America is a stupid song.

JLeslie's avatar

@tigress3681 Are you saying everyone in the stadium should have to stand for the national anthem? Understand God Bless America is not our national anthem, but let’s say they had been playing The Star Spangled Banner, everyone has to stand?

tigress3681's avatar

@JLeslie I am absolutely saying everyone should stand, who is physically able, of course. Not just stand tho, hand over heart, hat in hand if applicable, facing the flag, etc etc. And the same goes for foreign national anthems. My opinion is based on spending my entire childhood in/on/around military bases and then joining the military for four more after that.

Obviously the constitution provides for freedom of speech so if someone is making a statement by being rude and disrespectful to either our country or another by getting up and leaving, slouching, talking etc during national anthems, it is their right to do so. It is still however the right of the proprietor of an establishment to remove anyone they want from their property.

cockswain's avatar

Do you think the NYPD had been instructed by the owner of the ballpark to remove any fans that don’t “properly honor” either of those songs?

JLeslie's avatar

@tigress3681 So, if you are in Abu Dhabi for a sports event (my husband had the races on all weekend) you should stand for their national anthem, hand over heart?

JLeslie's avatar

Don’t get me wrong, I am fine with people standing for a foreign national anthem, but I am also fine if they choose not to. It is understandable. When I go to a Catholic wedding, I will stand when everyone stands, but I will not kneel.

tigress3681's avatar

@JLeslie Why is being respectful such an issue for you?

JLeslie's avatar

@tigress3681 Not an issue for me. I would probably stand for all national anthems, even foreign ones. But, I respect the person who feels uncomfortable doing it. If they feel it is maybe disloyal in some way to their own country. Maybe culturally it is disrespectful in their mind to stand for another nations anthem. As long as they are not disruptive, and allow others to stand and honor their country, I see no problem. I think your expectation of others is not allowing for cultural differences, and respect for the individual who might be uncomfortable.

tigress3681's avatar

@JLeslie

First and foremost, stop adding words to what I am saying. I did not state expectations merely opinions about what should be done. American cultures, as a rule, do not find it disrespectful to respect other countries, KKK, and other hate based “cultures” might be the exception, and I couldn’t care less what they think.

You know, when I was a kid living on a base in Germany, I wondered why we stood at attention for both our own anthem, and theirs… It just didn’t make sense for the reasons you stated. Upon maturing I came to realize that being in a foreign country is a privilege not a right. I also came to realize that had the roles been reversed, and they were in my country that them not being respectful and standing would cause a huge out roar wanting them to leave.

If a citizen of the USA thinks it is self-disrespecting to pay respect to the country of a foreign visitor, or the country they are visiting, by standing erect, then they need to be taught differently. Just because you respect your step-mother, doesn’t mean you automatically disrespect your mother.

JLeslie's avatar

@tigress3681 I am not talking about our culture, I am saying if someone elses culture perceives it as disrespectful to their own country, or they are uncomfortable standing for someone else’s anthem, who are we to tell them they are wrong. It would be ethnocentric to insist they think like us. The only time I would have a problem with it, is if they were hypocrites, insisting Americans stand for theirs, but don’t have to stand for ours. That you write they need to be taught signifies to me that you certainly do have an expectation that everyone must understand they should do it. I would not feel I, or my country, was disrespected because a French tourist did not stand for our anthem. Why should I care? Getting upset about things like this becomes a power trip in my opinion.

I stand for my anthem, because I love my country. I take that moment to think about why I love America, and to appreciate what I have. When I stand for another anthem it is out of respect, but of course the same feelings are not there. It does not seem like a far leap to me that some people would not stand, because they don’t have the emotional tie. Our laws protect this right. Students in school do not have to stand and recite the pledge, I would guess there is no law people have to stand for the anthem. We should not worry about others, and worry about ourselves. Letting the actions of others bother you is a waste of time, as long as they are not being disruptive, as I stated before.

You know, in anger management one thing that is talked about is angry people tend to have a lot of shoulds in their vocabulary. My wife should have had dinner ready. My boyfriend should have brought me a gift. My friend should have known to call. My girlfriend should have kissed my mother when she saw her. I am not accusing you of being angry, I am just pointing out that cultural expectations, especially about respect, expecting others to think like us, is not always a good assumption, and can lead to unnecessary perceptions of feeling disrespected when it was not the intention of the other person.

Like my Catholic wedding example, you think I am being disrespectful for not kneeling? Why should anyone care? I am not Catholic. I respect any other rules, dress codes, etc, but kneeling seems to me to be obedient to the religion, rather than just respecting being inside of the church and the people who worship.

tigress3681's avatar

@JLeslie I wrote NEED one time and about one particular thing. The NEED to understand that respecting one thing does not mean disrespecting the alternative. This is unrelated to whether or not they should or should not do something. Whether or not you would get upset about a tourist being disrespectful to our country is irrelevant. The country would be angry. The fact that a small percentage of the population is indifferent does not change the fact that all over the news would be stories about the person who didnt rise for national anthem during the olympics.

I am not responding to your second paragraph, because I already said the same thing about the laws and thus we are in agreement.

I am glad you are not accusing me of being angry but the truth is, you are making me angry by arguing about my opinions as though I have any intent on forcing them on others. I don’t know what this mysterious culture is that you speak of when you are talking about cultures that dont want to stand during the national anthem. If you watch the olympics you will see that everyone stands for all anthems. Clearly this is NOT all inclusive but it is pretty fair to say that most cultures show respect by standing.

As for the Catholic thing, same as with the ball park. If you choose not to participate, it is your own choice. They have the legal right to have people removed from their property. However I am pretty sure they wont pursue that end unless you not only stand up but start dancing around flipping the bird screaming out obscenities while masturbating, or maybe 2/4 of those.

JLeslie's avatar

We agree that respecting one thing does not mean disrespecting another. But, what about things like the Jehovah’s? Don’t they refuse to stand for the pledge? Or, am I confusing them with some other group?

I was wondering about the olympics, I could not remember if everyone stands, but I believe you when you say they typicaly do. I would guess most people don’t have a problem standing. I am only saying for those who do, I am not bothered by it. Certainly I don’t think anyone should be kicked out or arrested.

I am not trying to argue, we are just debating the issue. I am fine dropping it. We agree overall, and where opinions differ they differ.

mattbrowne's avatar

Patriotism is a choice.

AshlynM's avatar

Would they have been thrown out if they were at a school play while children were singing God Bless America? Makes you wonder.

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