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Teens sue Newark Bears over 'God Bless America' ejection

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newark.jpgWhen "God Bless America" goes wrong - another item for the "I'm surprised this hasn't happened yet" file.

Three teenagers who say they were tossed from a New Jersey ballpark for sitting through the song "God Bless America" are suing the minor league Newark Bears - managed by White Sox fan favorite Rock Raines. The boys say their constitutional rights were violated when they were asked to leave Newark's Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium in June by Bear's president co-owner Thomas Cetnar.

The Newark Star-Ledger reports Cetnar got in the kids' grills and booted them:

"Nobody sits during the singing of 'God Bless America' in my stadium,'" Cetnar bellowed during the June 29 incident, according to the suit. "Now the get the (expletive) out of here."

The high schoolers, Bryce Gadye and Nilkumar Patel, both 17, and junior Shaan Mohammad Khan, 16, sued in federal court Friday seeking unspecified damages.

They say when they told Cetnar they had the right to remain seated, he cursed and had two security officers remove them from their seats behind home plate.

No chance the fine high school kids were popping off as that age group is known to do from time to time, right? Whatever the case, principles and beliefs aside, the next time you're at a minor league game in rough and tumble Newark the day before the anniversary of Sept. 11 and "God Bless America" comes on, maybe it would just be easier for everyone to stand? Just sayin'.

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11 Comments

"No chance the fine high school kids were popping off as that age group is known to do from time to time, right? Whatever the case, principles and beliefs aside, the next time you're at a minor league game in rough and tumble Newark the day before the anniversary of Sept. 11 and "God Bless America" comes on, maybe it would just be easier for everyone to stand? Just sayin'."

That's right, just go along with the program you juvenile delinquents! And by the way, if why didn't Rosa Parks just sit in
the back of the bus like a 'good' negro?

Have you ever heard of standing up for (or in this case, sitting down for) your rights? I applaud these kids for not giving in to
social pressure and false patriotism. Get "God Bless America" OUT of the ballparks and back in the 19th century where it belongs!

Bill,
I couldn't agree more. God Bless America has no place in the ballpark. I go there to watch baseball, not to have God and patriotism shoved down my throat.

Craig,

BECAUSE GOD BLESS AMERICA IS NOT THE NATIONAL ANTHEM!!! How many friggin' times must it be explained to people that GBA is not the national anthem, but a song, and a bad one at that.

A national anthem is entitled to respect regardless of the country. But in no way should we be required to give the same deference to any random patriotic song.

How about a compromise here? Play James Brown's hit song "Livin' in America" instead. If you don't stand for that, then you don't have a pulse.

To Brad, Bill, Aaron and anyone else who won't stand for God Bless America, just don't go to the ballpark if it offends you. Baseball is America's national pastime. Where, if not the ballpark, should patriotism be celebrated??

"Where, if not the ballpark, should patriotism be celebrated??"

Military parades? Funerals for our fallen soldiers? July 4? Memorial Day? Veterans day? Do I need to go on? And for the record I'm not crazy about playing GBA on July 4 and Memorial Day, but I at least understand it.

Since when is it the job of baseball teams to instill patriotism in us? And if it is the job of baseball teams to instill patriotism, why is the National Anthem not sufficient? Also, I think constantly playing GBA cheapens the National Anthem. Finally, and I know I'm not alone on this, I think "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" is more patriotic than GBA. It's a song that celebrates our national pastime without any mention of God or the greatness of our country, and is older than GBA (you can look that up) and has more history.

And Chris, your argument smacks of "if you don't like this country you can leave" which I find horribly offensive. If teams want to play GBA that's their right. But they have no right to be as upset as they are when someone doesn't stand for it/stay in their seat/take their hat off. This jackass just shows us all that he loves "freedom" in the abstract, but not when its actually being practiced.

This is America land of the free. Now stand when you are ordered and sit when you are ordered.

Of course Cetnar's fit had nothing to do with these children being non-white I'm sure.

The Newark Bears is owned by an Excon !! TOM CETNAR a total disgrace !!

you know what screw all of you god bless america is a ballpark classic

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This page contains a single entry by Craig Newman published on September 14, 2009 3:16 PM.

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