TRENTON – Senate President Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) today called on both New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes and newly approved Sports and Exposition Authority CEO Dennis Robinson to crack down on the reported half-time harassment taking place at New York Jets home games. According to published news reports, fans gather at the ramps at Gate D of Giants Stadium to harass and intimidate women and children that enter the area.
“Apparently Gate D stands for drunk and disgusting,” said Sen. Codey. “It’s beyond comprehension why security personnel would tolerate such behavior. If I had young kids, I would be mortified to bring them to a game. We need to find out why this is tolerated, who looked the other way, and why nothing has been done to end this practice.”
Sen. Codey sent a letter to both Fuentes and Robinson today asking that the matter be investigated and strict protocol put in place to avoid any future occurrences.
“To label this as a matter of free speech is a joke. Essentially what it boils down to is sexual and psychological harassment,” added Sen. Codey. “Female fans and children should be able to go and enjoy the games free of any sort of intimidation. Anyone caught harassing another fan should have their ticket taken away and be thrown out of the game, simple as that.”
Below is the full text of Sen. Codey’s letter:
November 20, 2007
Col. Rick Fuentes, Superintendent
New Jersey State Police
P.O. Box 7068
West Trenton, NJ 08628
Mr. Dennis Robinson, President & CEO
NJ Sports and Exposition Authority
50 State Route 120
East Rutherford, NJ 07073
It has come to my attention that an ongoing situation of harassment and intimidation is occurring at Giants Stadium during New York Jets home football games. Judging by published reports and eyewitness accounts, the situation during halftime at Gate D, in which women and even some children are being harassed and intimidated, is intolerable.
What is even more distressing about the published reports is that no authoritative body seems willing or capable of addressing the situation and security personnel that witnessed the harassment appear to have turned a blind eye.
Given that the NJ Sports and Exposition Authority is charged with providing security at all home games and the NJ State Police is charged with carrying out that security, I am calling on both of your organizations to investigate these circumstances and implement whatever protocol is necessary to ensure that fans that attend Jets home games are not subjected to any future harassment.
Sporting events should be filled with pride and enthusiasm, not fear, intimidation and obscenities. Anyone caught displaying such behavior should have their ticket taken away and be removed from the game, in addition to any law enforcement penalties that may be warranted. I trust that the Sports Authority and the State Police will do whatever is in their capacity to eliminate this situation at all future home games.
Your attention to this matter is appreciated.
Richard J. Codey