If you love baseball and you aren’t a tool, chances are you hate the Yankees. If you are from New York or you are a front-runner, chances are you love the Yankees. In either case, you have a choice as to whether to cheer for them because America is all about choices. You can read this post or skip to the Friday Ferretblogging because you have a choice. You can thank God for this right or you can thank the framers of the Constitution because you have a choice. You can choose to choose, or you can choose to have someone else choose for you. With exceptions of laws made by the people for the common good (theoretically) of those who live here, you’ve got a hell of a lot of freedom to do what you’d like.
What you apparently don’t have the right to do is choose to take a leak during the 7th Inning Stretch at Yankee Stadium.
On Aug. 26, Brandon Campeau-Laurion was taking in the action when he decided to use the extended 7th Inning Stretch break for a pause for the cause. In attempting to make his way to the restroom, the Red Sox fan (OK, now we know why he was in trouble) found himself confronted by a police officer who wouldn’t let him move because it was time to play “God Bless America.” According to Clyde Haberman’s article:
I’m sorry? “Their country?” Hell, even John Cougar Mellencamp knows “This is OURRRRR country” and since Yankee Stadium has yet to attain the “country within a country” status of the Vatican, I’m pretty sure this guy didn’t check his Constitutional rights at the door. In many cases, the security detail restricts movement during the playing of this vocal blend of God and country by chaining off the aisle. (See the photo with the NYT story)
According to a NYT article, Campeau-Laurion received about $10,000 plus legal fees from the Yankees, while the team admitted no wrongdoing. The details of the settlement, which were revealed this week, smacked of that old money phrase “the cost of doing business.” The whole affair came across as, “We did nothing wrong, but the settlement costs about what we paid Robinson Cano for one at bat last year, and he’s not even in our top ten salaries, so let’s just pay the guy and hope he goes away.”
We could write this off as just another case of a guy making $9.50 an hour acting on a power trip because he didn’t like the attitude of someone he figured he could push around. We also can’t underestimate the Red Sox/Yankees thing (the Sox were apparently kicking the Yankees’ ass at the time of the incident), but in doing so gives the Yankees a pass and we are no better than they are when they figured buying this guy off was the easiest thing to do.
I’m a fan of God and I love my country, but the reason why I love both is because I choose to. Those of you who choose a different faith or choose not to believe at all, that’s your right under the governmental structure of this fine country of ours. Those of you who question our country, that’s your right too. We are not, nor should we ever be a “my way or the highway” kind of country.
Unfortunately, over the previous eight years, we seemed to slide that way due to terrorism, escalating international tension and a president who wanted to “smoke ‘em out” all the time. Perhaps that’s why conservatives were going so bat-shit insane when Obama won: they figured he’d be as intolerant of them as they were of others.
Instead of subjecting people to “God Bless America,” let’s try something more inclusive like “This Land is Your Land,” whichWoody Guthrie wrote in response to that complacent and arrogant tune.
Then again, if it weren’t for being complacent and arrogant, what would the Yankees do with themselves?