Fans arrive for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Islanders and the Capitals at Nassau Coliseum.
Islanders fans will always remember their overtime win over Washington in Game 3 Sunday. A few Capitals fans— including one from Brooklyn — wish they could forget it.
Nate (Igor) Smith, a Caps fan from Brooklyn, wrote an open letter to the Islanders on his website, calling his trip to Sunday’s game “the worst experience I have had in 30 years of attending sporting events.”
According to the letter, Smith and his Capitals comrades — including a female friend named Fatou – were berated by fans at Nassau Coliseum throughout the afternoon with homophobic and racial slurs. When they returned to their vehicles in the parking lot, they found one of their cars had been keyed twice and that the rear license plate had been stolen.
“When the game went to overtime and the Islanders won the fans around us started kicking our chairs and pounding on the seat backs on either side of our heads,” the letter read. “The guys in front of us turned around and gave us the middle finger. As we left I had people yell “F— you” in my face and of course (homophobic slurs) and comments about Fatou’s “black hair.
“A few Islanders fans couldn’t believe it and were pretty great about it, but another drunk fan started screaming and pumping up into the face of several of our crew,” the letter continued. “At some point one of our members pushed him away after he jumped into us and nearly started another brawl. I fortunately broke it up since I had no interest in going to jail but the guys still p—– right next to my friends car so that he had to stand in a puddle of urine to get into his car.”
Smith also expressed frustration with Nassau Coliseum security.
“Hopefully when you guys come to Brooklyn, the city I have lived for the last decade, you will do a much better job of controlling your drunk abusive fans and hire some security guards who do their jobs instead of just treating the visiting fans as the enemy. At the very least I am glad there won’t be any seats where you have to duck to see how much time is left in the game… Thanks and I hope we are the last team to ever play in that awful ‘barn’ you currently call home.”
The Islanders issued a statement on Monday afternoon:
“We are disappointed by the reported actions of a select group of fans that attended Game 3 on Sunday afternoon. The alleged racist or homophobic remarks directed at several Washington Capitals fans are by no means associated with or supported by the New York Islanders organization. Islanders fans, who are made up of the best of the world’s melting pot, are some of the most respectful, passionate and knowledgeable in the NHL. The inappropriate actions of a few individuals does not represent Islanders fans as a whole. We expect our fans to continue to be the loudest and most respectful fans in the NHL.”
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