I had mentioned this issue to friends when I first became aware of it, but having learned this, I am now inclined to post about it. I can’t respect an organization that not only forces patriotism, but does so by way of confusing religious belief and love for one’s country. “God Bless America” presupposes a number of things- the existence of a god, that he/she cares about America, and that the people who attend Yankee games want to bless America in the manner suggested by the song.
The fact that they play God Bless America at all is somewhat problematic, but that they also force you to stand there and acquiesce to the blessing is revolting. To say nothing of the imposed religiosity, isn’t forced patriotism, well, not patriotism at all? Along with being the emperor of the evil empire and a Williams College graduate (cough cough ::douchebag:: ), George Steinbrenner takes a dim view of the American people.
I attempted to get up to use the restroom, rather urgently, during the 7th inning stretch as God Bless America was beginning. As I attempted to walk down the aisle and exit my section into the tunnel, I was stopped by a police officer. He informed me that I had to wait until the song was over. I responded that I had to use the restroom and that I did not care about God Bless America. “As soon as the latter came out of my mouth, my right arm was twisted violently behind my back and I was informed that I was being escorted out of the stadium. A second officer then joined in and twisted my left arm, also in an excessively forceful manner, behind my back.
The Times reported on this policy (it wasn’t merely a rogue cop, it’s Yankee Stadium policy to have people “stay put”) last year. I had hoped that perhaps the “Stadium” had grown up, but I am not surprised to learn that it hadn’t.