Bradford Campeau-Laurion had a problem at Yankee Stadium the other night. He had to go to the bathroom. The problem was, nature called during the seventh inning stretch, when the Yankees play "God Bless America."
When he tried to leave his seat during the traditional singing of God Bless America, however, he says he was stopped by a NYPD officer who said he'd have to wait until the song was done.
"I then said to him, 'I don't care about God Bless America. I just need to use the bathroom.' As soon as I said that, he immediately pinned my arm behind my back," Campeau-Laurion told CBS 2.
The 29-year-old says two officers pinned both of his arms behind his back and ejected him from the stadium.
"He shoved me out the front gate and told me get out of their country if I didn't like it," he said.
There is a rule at Yankee Stadium that one doesn't leave one's seat during the singing of this song. And the Yankees, as a private entity in possession of private property, have a right to enforce it I suppose. But for the New York Police Department to appoint itself the Yankees' agent in enforcing this rule may cross the line into a violation of the First Amendment, I think, in that the police are requiring people like Bradford Campeau-Laurion to honor a patriotic, political song. It would be like ejecting him for refusing to sing the national anthem, or for refusing to say the pledge of allegiance. Especially when the police hadn't been asked, specifically, by the Yankees to eject Campeau-Laurion as a trespasser.
And it's not as though he didn't have a good reason, at a stadium that earns much of its revenue selling overpriced beer.
Campeau-Laurion is contemplating a suit against the NYPD (good luck establishing damages buddy), and it will be an interesting one. A similar suit may prove even more interesting next season, when the Yankees move into their new stadium, which unlike the current one is being financed with the tax dollars of New York citizens like Bradford Campeau-Laurion.