The New York Yankees are in their fourth consecutive World Series and fifth in six years. Many baseball fans with no roots in New York dislike the team for a variety of reasons, including its high payroll, its recent domination and its demonstrative general partner, George Steinbrenner. But given the events of Sept. 11, attitudes might be different this fall. So the Business Journal asks:

Is it unpatriotic or insensitive to root against a New York team? Louis Friedman Executive Director The Planetary Society

I'm from New York and I've been a Yankee fan since 1946. But I don't think its unpatriotic to root against the Yankees this is a sport carried on for entertainment. The reason we watch it is because it is a diversion from the affairs of state. We need to keep our lives as normal as possible, respecting our local institutions as well as our global ones. That means you shouldn't change the team you root for.

Bob Rawitch Vice President Winner & Associates

I don't think it's insensitive to root against the Yankees. And it's just as much a part of the American way to root for the underdog. I think the American people have made it clear that they are very sympathetic to what's happened in New York. But the World Series is entertainment. I would feel good for the New Yorkers if the Yankees won. It would be good for their morale, but that doesn't mean I have to root for the Yankees.

Ken Bernstein Director of Preservation Issues Los Angeles Conservancy

For a life-long Dodger fan, it could never be unpatriotic to root against the hated Yankees. But even I was touched watching the scenes from Yankee Stadium showing the city's emotional outpouring with its courageous mayor present when the Yankees won the pennant. Perhaps my heart is softening. But because it's difficult to overcome life-long allegiances, those of us who bleed Dodger blue will have to forego rooting for either team this year.

Seth Aronson Partner O'Melveny & Myers

I am a true blue Dodger fan and have rooted against the Yankees in the last three World Series. But after Sept. 11, the Yankees sort of pull on your heart strings. I'm finding it difficult to root against them this year and I suspect that many other Americans will feel the same way. I think it's insensitive to root against the Yankees just because they are the Yankees.

Ron Hartwig Executive Vice President Hill & Knowlton Inc.

I don't think you should tie your patriotism to support for the New York Yankees. The whole country has gone through a shock. But New Yorkers have been particularly hard hit. So I think we should root for the Yankees in the hopes they win the Series, which will give New Yorkers a real shot in the arm.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.