Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Bitch, I will cut you": tension with hockey fans leads to reported Barclays Center security flameout

Also note that the arena's aggressive booze policies, now dialed back, may have been a factor.

OK, so New York Islanders fans are a lot more boisterous than Brooklyn Nets fans, and sometimes rowdy.

Also, Barclays Center operators have cracked down on some traditions--like the ability to see the pre-game skate--open to all fans at the more generously/loosely run previous venue, Nassau Coliseum.

That sets up some inherent tensions between fans and staff. (One fan says security treats them "like inmates at Rikers.") I'd add that many security guards are frustrated by limited hours and lack of benefits.

Also--and this adds something of a factor--nearly all the Barclays Center security guards are black Brooklynites, while the largest and most passionate group of Islander fans are white Long Islanders.

(See this tweet quoting a Facebook posting which asks, "What's with all the African American employees?" But also see Facebook posts pushing back, including from black fans and also pointing to the Islanders' biracial Kyle Okposo.)

That all likely factored into an incident two nights ago, in what CBS Local reported as Fans: Jumbotron Scuffle With Security Part Of Larger Problem At Barclays Center
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, guards scuffled with a woman and a man who reportedly tried to move closer to the ice in order to get a better view of names flashing on the Jumbotron.
“The girl saying something about, there’s a memorial to her father. They wouldn’t let her take a picture. All of a sudden, they decked her,” Scott Wrba said via FaceTime.
Wrba took video of the altercation, and said that Barclays security has been uptight and uncomfortable with exuberant hockey fans since the Islanders moved to Brooklyn.
“We’re loud, we love our team, we love the Islanders, we’re passionate about it. I feel they don’t understand that. If they want to make it our home they have to make it more welcoming,” he said.
Numerous fans took to social media to express similar views, including “Barclays does not understand hockey culture,” and, “It’s not fun to go to a game there.”
A fan speaks

Justin Weiss, on Elite Sports NY, cited "one of the female victims, on Facebook":
(Insert name) and I pitched in and paid $75 to get a message for the ballantynes dad on the screen during second intermission, when we realized the 16 members of their family who were in attendance couldn’t see the screen from their seats we suggested they goto the handicap area to just get a better view and come back up. We didn’t think this would be an issue because when I sprained my ankle they allowed me to sit in the section without an ada ticket on multiple occasions for the entire game. Instead of understanding the situation security used this request as an excuse to abuse their power. 
Honestly I’ve never seen such mindless unwarranted violence from security at any other event, a woman security guard called johns sister a cunt 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 Susan throwing us both to the floor- she pulled Susan’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 Susan “deserved it”. The security team then let the visibly injured Susan lay on the floor as we propped her head up with peoples 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.
Also see Save the Isles blog.

4 comments:

  1. What section can you not see the scoreboard from in the arena?

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  2. Anonymous11:53 AM

    This message was probably on one of the end boards only, which are obstructed from many places by the main scoreboard

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  3. Anonymous12:37 PM

    Odor you really stooped to new lows after writing for Dolan's paper last summer making this racial.

    Dolan's goons at Chase Garden ejected a Net fan in 2014 with one leg who died two days later, he kicked the Rockettes over health benefits with his tax exemption gifts from Cuomo and Silver who would never allow a vote to repeal it in Albany.

    Stick to blog entries criticizing the turkeys behind handed out for thanksgiving.

    Really getting lazy with hockey attacks on the tenant Islanders, who's attendance is down because they have three Saturday night home games vs past seasons.

    And our season ticket base in 2011 was made up of 40 percent NYC fans, the ones who take over the Chase Garden after the Knicks hockey team went to the finals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Um, I didn't make this racial. Some Islanders fans raised it.

      You make a good point that poorly trained (and/or meanspirited) ushers/security guards are a factor at more than one arena.

      I have written a roundup or two on hockey attendance, following up on a lot of existing coverage. You didn't notice that?

      You can't even spell my name, but you're bravely anonymous.

      Delete