Barclays Center has been no stranger to the occasional brawl, but it seems things have gotten much worse since the Islanders moved into the arena. Many fans seem to hate the new venue, and guards have been accused of being overzealous and aggressive. The tensions between security guards and fans reached a new peak this week when a fight broke out in the stands, apparently over a memorial to someone's deceased father.
— Scottie LaDouche (@AirWrbaa) December 16, 2015
According to CBS, guards fought with a woman and a man who tried to move closer to the ice in order to get a better view of names flashing on the Jumbotron. The message was reportedly a tribute to the woman's deceased father. "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," said witness Scott Wrba, who took one of the videos of the altercation.
@IslesBlog my friends family went to see a message that was being put on the bird to honor their father who passed away security wouldnt...
— Tom LoFaso (@tomlofaso329) December 16, 2015
ESNY published a Facebook post by one of the fans allegedly involved in the fight, who criticized security:
Honestly I’ve never seen such mindless unwarranted violence from security at any other event, a woman security guard called [Male Victim's] 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 [Female Victim] throwing us both to the floor -- she pulled [Female Victim]’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 [Female Victim] “deserved it.”
The security team then let the visibly injured [Female Victim] 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.
Here's another angle of the fight:
Other fans have taken to Facebook and Twitter to express their outrage over the security at Barclays:
Barclays Center employees who treat us like inmates on Rikers pic.twitter.com/Ugw596ibzm
— Isles Facebook (@IslesFacebook) December 16, 2015
Wrba told CBS that security doesn't seem to understand how to deal with excitable fans: "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. Yahoo Sports seemed to agree: "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."
Barclays released this statement about the incident:
— IslesBlog (@IslesBlog) December 17, 2015