Hey, there! Log in / Register

State law requires you to pay $50 if you scream "Yankees suck!" at a sporting event

The oddest thing in the previously secret Olympics bid chapters was not the huge deficit or the denigration of opponents, but the reference to a state law that prohibits swearing at athletes and coaches and sporting events.

Because, yes, of course, Massachusetts has a law against that: MGL Chap. 272 Sect. 36A, which states, in its entirety:

Whoever, having arrived at the age of sixteen years, directs any profane, obscene or impure language or slanderous statement at a participant or an official in a sporting event, shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars.

Chap. 272 is, of course, the collection of laws related to "crimes against chastity, morality, decency and good order," which include laws against such things as child pornography, animal cruelty and upskirt photography, but also laws you'd be amazed are still on the books in the Commonwealth, especially since some have been overturned by court decisions.

These include a law banning the sale of all contraceptives, except to married people, and only then with a doctor's prescription (which was overturned in Eisenstadt v. Baird in 1972); a ban on blasphemy - including "contumeliously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching or exposing to contempt and ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures" (one year in prison); a prohibition specifically on making loud noises in a library; and a law that defines what it means to be a tramp.

As to why Boston 2024 even brought up the no-Yankees-sucks-chanting law, it was in a section of its bid proposal that dealt with specific Massachusetts laws related to sporting events.

Topics: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

Considering our hitting, our fielding, and our pitching this season, just listening to a game on the radio means I should write the Dept. of Revenue a check for $500.

up
Voting closed 0

I guess shouting 'Yankees Suck!' isn't really speaking truth to power.

up
Voting closed 0

Thanks Adam. Now I need to find some excuse to use "contumeliously" in casual conversation.

up
Voting closed 0

up
Voting closed 0

Student section at any of the college hockey games around, gold mine right there

up
Voting closed 0

Don't make this about money. Athletes deserve special protection because they are HEROES! Just look at the millions of lives they save every year, not to mention the crucial support they give to our essential jewelry, pharmaceutical, and luxury-auto industries. If it hadn't been for our professional athletes, the terrorists would have won, and North Korea would have nuked San Francisco. So of course athletes should be protected from the kind of abuse that we heap on each other while commuting to work.

up
Voting closed 0

The Olympics SUCK!

up
Voting closed 0

Either because they're dumb or were overturned by court decisions (or both), but it's interesting they're still on the books (like the one against dissemination of contraception, overturned by the Supreme Court in Eisenstadt v Baird in 1972 - which involved the arrest of Bill Baird for distributing contraceptive foam at BU).

I think Byron Rushing used to introduce a bill every year to repeal laws that are no longer enforced (and if you look at Chap. 272, there are several marked "repealed"), but maybe he finally gave up.

up
Voting closed 0

There was that famous law banning Native Americans from entering Boston without an escort.

I once handed a friend a "three musketeers" bar so he would be certain to be one musketeer over the minimum when he crossed the Longfellow bridge.

up
Voting closed 0

...when you flip off the Viscount of Lower Saxony as he whizzes by you in the Olympic VIP Lane

up
Voting closed 0

Everybody knows the viscount of Lower Saxony is a total dick.

up
Voting closed 0

Such as "Yankees suck" should not be interpreted as "swearing" simply because it is declared with conviction.

up
Voting closed 0

...it could, this year, be construed as 'uttering a falsity'. I just made that law up.

up
Voting closed 0

Fuck 'em up, fuck 'em up, BC SUCKS!

up
Voting closed 0

A couple days ago, the Boston Globe ran a long article about the ".sucks" Internet domain. It's a family newspaper that would not print the F-word or even the S-word for excrement.

up
Voting closed 0

The words "sucks" and "blows" now seem to be divorced from their original prurient meaning. I have even heard children utter these words on innocuous sitcoms in prime time.

up
Voting closed 0

We don't really know the original meanings. There's reasonable evidence that the origin was actually in some relatively innocuous insult, and the "dirty" meaning was actually read into it later by prurient rule-makers viewing everything through the lens of their own repressed filthy minds.

Or maybe not. But we really don't know, and there's plenty of evidence that it's used in a non-vulgar way basically constantly today.

up
Voting closed 0

Who is the Legislator that wrote the text of the law? Who is the Legislator that originally proposed the law?

up
Voting closed 0

when there's danger all about?

up
Voting closed 0

I wonder if it had to do with live broadcasts for TV and Radio picking up chants and exclamations?

up
Voting closed 0

This would be a great episode.

up
Voting closed 0

...is the name of my alt-punk band. Come see us play in Lower Allston!

up
Voting closed 0