Brooklyn Nets "super fan" Jeffrey Gamblero was reportedly carried out of Madison Square Garden in New York City last night by several security guards.
The incident happened shortly before the Nets 98-93 win over the Knicks (video below).
A security guard, who refused to give his or her name, claimed that Gamblero removed his prosthetic leg and hit another fan with it.
“They grabbed him and pulled him out,” the security guard told the New York Daily News. “I don’t know if he was arrested, but they got him out of there so he didn’t start a riot.”
However, an unidentified fan countered: "I saw what happened. He didn’t deserve to be thrown out. He was just into the game.”
Gamblero is a favorite at Nets games and is often shown on a Jumbotron at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
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“I know he’s a big fan,” Nets player Alan Anderson told the New York Daily News. “I just looked up and saw what happened, that he was carried out. I don’t know what caused it. I know he’s a big fan for us, though.”
Gamblero reportedly lost the lower part of his left leg to an accident years ago.
Another fan named "Max" told NetsDaily.com that he witnessed the entire incident:
[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.
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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.
Tim Bontemps of the New York Post quoted an unidentified Knicks spokesperson via Twitter: "... Gamblero was warned multiple times before being ejected, and that he won't be allowed to come back to Madison Square Garden."