We were at the Knicks-Nets game last night and word quickly spread among some of the media that a Nets fan, with a prosthetic leg, had been kicked out of the arena. Video surfaced on Instagram, and the Knicks have released a statement because any time you have three security officers dragging a recumbent man missing his prosthetic leg out of a sporting event — as onlookers boo, no less — it’s a PR fiasco.
You can watch the video on Instagram, but the user has blocked any attempts to embed the video. Here’s how it looked from his seat, and when you watch the video on IG you can clearly hear the boos from other fans:
The man has been identified as Nets super fan Jeffrey Gamblero.
And here’s an account of what the fan — who shot the IG video — saw:
Also, there was a rumor Gamblero had hit someone with the prosthetic leg, but we haven’t seen it confirmed anywhere else, and Nick — who we know — quickly tweeted other version of events:
The good people at The Brooklyn Game, have a heartbreaking account from a fan, Max, who sat right behind Gamblero:
(Gamblero) was being his usual self, absolutely no cursing, no negative cheering, just dancing and loud cheering for the Nets. Never attacked a Knicks fan, never got out of hand.
After halftime a guard came up and told him to “cool down and just be a fan.” Obviously didn’t know who he was. He said what did I do wrong? Should I be quiet? They said no, just cool it down. He started loudly cheering FOR the Knicks doing “go New York go New York go,” etc. The guards came back and told him to stop. He said why? Is this a library?
Then the main guard on the floor gave the signal to kick him out. He would not leave. A guard then touched his leg and he said “ouch you’re hurting me I have a prosthetic leg.” He then took off the leg, which is when things escalated.
More and more guards surrounded him as he watched the game with his leg resting on his shoulder. They tried to get him to put his leg on, threatened to arrest him if he wouldn’t, but he wasn’t moving.
He started saying “why are you doing this I just love basketball so much,” he was clearly overwhelmed.
After about ten minutes, four guards grabbed him and carried him out as he screamed in pain.
I am a lifelong Nets fan but regardless, this was one of the cruelest and most upsetting things I have ever seen.
Disgraceful. Don’t cheer too loud for an opposing team at Madison Square Garden.
Here’s the statement from the Knicks, but there’s really no way to cover up the fact their security team forcibly removed a man with a prosthetic leg for cheering too loudly.
We were at the Garden last night for another Knicks comeback that fell short. It was really freakin’ loud. The least Garden security could have done was stand guard near the area instead of booting Gamblero out. It sounds like adjacent fans were just ticked off the Nets “Superfan” was, sigh, being a fan.
What do you think?
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