Bradford Campeau-Laurion — the guy who was drummed out of Yankee Stadium for trying to tinkle during the Yankees' seventh-inning tribute to compelled patriotism, the playing of "God Bless America" — has settled his lawsuit against the team and city.
The lawsuit, filed in April, claimed that Campeau-Laurion was, as the NYCLU put it, "the victim of religious and political discrimination on Aug. 26, 2008 when police officers forcibly restrained and ejected him from Yankee Stadium after he tried to walk past an officer during the playing of 'God Bless America.'" At the time, fans were expected to stay put during the song and submit to a recording of Kate Smith or, worse, the horrible yodeling of Ronan Tynan, because in those skittish post-9/11 days, to buy a plate of nachos during "God Bless America" was to buy a plate of nachos for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
No longer, however. The city, without admitting liability, has agreed to pay Campeau-Laurion a $10,001 settlement, throwing in an additional $12,000 to cover his legal fees. More importantly, in a stipulation attached to the settlement, the Yankees were allowed to lie and pretend that they never had a policy of restricting "fans wishing to move about the Stadium during the playing of 'God Bless America,'" even though they most certainly did. The team at least added that it had "no intention" of instituting any such policy.
Don't mistake the lame stipulation for anything but a thumping victory for Campeau-Laurion, civil libertarians everywhere, those of us sick of the Yankees' chest-pounding brand of patriotism, atheists, people with chronically weak bladders, and upper-concourse alcoholics trying to get one more in before last call — which is to say, just about everyone. Let us all be grateful for a land so fair.
Yankees Won't Restrict Fans for ‘God Bless America' [Bloomberg]
EARLIER: So, Yankee Stadium Takes This No Moving During "God Bless America"-Thing Rather Seriously