Why pay the exorbitant ticket prices at Yankee Stadium to experience getting treated like crap when there are much more budget-friendly options taking in a minor league baseball game? That must have been the logic behind the decision of three teenage boys to attend a Newark Bears game at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium on June 29th of this year, where they were kicked out because they didn’t stand during the singing of “God Bless America.”
It should be pointed out that the Yankees made the correct decision and settled a lawsuit brought by a fan who made similar allegations regarding how he was treated by Yankee Stadium security when he tried to leave his seat to use the bathroom during “God Bless America.”
But a minor league baseball team like the Newark Bears have to watch expenses, so they don’t have the funds to hire security to usher out the malcontent America-haters – they have the president and co-owner do it.
According to the lawsuit, the boys were seated behind home plate when the song began playing. Once it ended, they say Cetnar approached them yelling.
“Nobody sits during the singing of ‘God Bless America’ in my stadium,” the lawsuit quotes Cetnar as saying. “Now the get the (expletive) out of here.”
Cetnar denied saying that: “Never, never did that ever happen.”
Cetnar said he hasn’t seen the lawsuit, but called the boys’ account “a huge fabrication.”
The Newark Bears organization have made some effort in resolving the matter, according to Ross Gadye, the father of one of the boys, who is also representing them in the case. Gadye met with a different co-owner than the one accused of booting the boys out as well as the general manager of the team. Both representatives of the team apologized and offered free tickets, but the boys want an apology from Cetnar, who wasn’t at the meeting.
Of course, James Wankmiller, the co-owner who attended the meeting with Gadye alleges that the sole motivating factor for pursuing the lawsuit is the almighty dollar.
“We offered to sit with him and find out what his beef was and he asked for money,” Wankmiller said. “That was about it.”
Unfortunately, money is a commodity the Newark Bears are seriously lacking in – the team filed for bankruptcy last year and was sold. At least the boys will have the memories, I guess.
N.J. teens sue over ‘God Bless America’ ejection [SI.com/AP]