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Sunday, September 07, 2008
New tales of sport and free expression, Part I

Some new stories of sport and speech this week. I originally was going to discuss them in one post, but it got too long, so I decided to break it up over the next few days.

A blurb in the new Sports Illustrated reports that a fan was kicked out of Yankee Stadium when he tried to leave his seat and go to the bathroom while "God Bless America" was playing during the Seventh Inning Stretch. This seems an inevitable next step in the Yankees' (wrong-headed) efforts to force stands to remain in their seats for GBA in order to "show some respect."

For the moment, put aside the state action hurdle ((which I discussed a year ago, as well as here). This seems to me the paradigm of what free-speech principles protect against: An individual has been told that, unless he adheres to and participates in the affirmation of a community symbol and associated ritual, he will be forcibly removed from that community.

It will be interesting to see if we finally get First Amendment litigation over these efforts to control expression at the old ball game.

Cross-posted at PrawfsBlawg.


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