On Tuesday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, two fans allegedly tried to move closer to the ice in order to photograph the Jumbotron above the New York Islanders’ rink. On the screen: a tribute to one of the fan’s late father, a message the family paid to be displayed.
The fans went to an area designated for fans with special needs, and were met there by arena workers that weren’t having it. That sparked a melee between fans and security workers that was caught on film and broadcast on the CBS affiliate in New York on Wednesday night.
Here's the fight, via Gotham Sports Network:
Here's the CBS coverage of it:
Justin Weiss of ESNY found a Facebook post by one of the fans allegedly involved in the fight, who wrote:
Honestly I’ve never seen such mindless unwarranted violence from security at any other event, a woman security guard called johns sister a c--t and while her and I were standing together trying to get to her mom the she screamed, “bitch, I will cut you” right into (Insert name)’s face, she then proceeded to jump on top of [redacted] throwing us both to the floor -- she pulled [redacted]s hair, messed up her face pretty bad and also caused me to hit my head on the wall and floor of the hallway. She then proceeded to tell others around us that [redacted] “deserved it.”
The security team then let the visibly injured [redacted] lay on the floor as we propped her head up with people’s jackets waiting for EMTs. Thankfully the EMTs are not Barclays center employees and were very nice and documented everything- they are also willing to let us pick up a copy of the report at their office which is not at the arena.
After being treated this way and seeing what they did to others including (Insert name) I don’t think I can bring myself to go to a game any time soon. As a non season ticket holder the only way I can show them they can’t act this way is by not giving them money, I’ll be emailing the promotions department looking for a refund of the message board seeing as last night all I got was an offer for them to pick a different night for us to come back- what a joke.
There was an altercation at the arena during Tuesday night's Islanders game when security guards tried to restrict access to unauthorized guests. We are investigating the incident and reviewing all videos and meeting with staff. We have also notified the authorities. We are committed to the safety of our employees and guests. Any parties found to have acted inappropriately or in violation of our policies and of course the law will be dealt with accordingly.
The Islanders’ transition to Barclays Center hasn’t been a smooth one, from the fans’ perspective.
There was the goal horn that sounded like a mosquito blowing into a party favor, which a fan petition forced the team to change. There’s the continuing nonsense of restricted fan access to the warm up skate. And there are, of course, some of the worst seats in pro sports that continue to be sold to games.
Anecdotally, we’ve heard from Islanders fans who talk about the tension between the paying customers and the arena workers, about how they don’t seem to understand the different tone and tenor of a hockey game vs. a Brooklyn Nets game.
As Atlantic Yards notes, the racial optics inherent in this tension are undeniable: The vast majority of Barclays Center ushers and security guards are black, and the vast majority of Islanders fans attending home games are white.
But having attended a few Islanders games in Brooklyn, I think you get what you ask for if you’re Brett Yormark and Barclays Center.
Not only could the arena staff use some hospitality training, but the team itself has deputized them to restrict fan access in a building where there can be a third of the seats empty, depending on the opponent. Which is confusing as hell, given that Islanders fans are freely moved around the arena like chess pieces depending on how crappy their seats are and what the capacity is. I should know, I was one of them.
I can’t speak to the skirmish captured here without the full context of it, except to say this: Less than three months after settling into their new home, the Islanders have some fans that outright loathe Barclays Center and many other fans that feel the team has done very little to make the new arena feel like their arena.
And the reaction from the team, thus far, has been more antagonistic than understanding.
This is a situation worth watching. Provided, you know, you can see the whole situation. This is Barclays we’re talking about.
Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
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