Nets fan gives his side of story about Madison Square Garden ejection
NBA fan Jeffrey Gamblero became an instant celebrity earlier this week when footage of his ejection from a Brooklyn Nets-New York Knicks game on Tuesday hit the Internet.
What made Gamblero’s heave-ho from his seat location of Section 105, Row 7, Seat 15 behind the Nets bench particularly notable was that he was forcefully carried away by MSG security. Not only that, Gamblero has a prosthetic left leg, which he detached and began swinging as he was being removed from the arena — “swaying it,” in his words and later spinning it atop his head — as means of “peaceful protest” over his ejection.
After a few days of recovering from “bumps and bruises and lumps” he claims he suffered after he was allegedly dropped on his head and back along a stairwell during his ejection, Gamblero was ready to give his side of the story, which he provided to the New York Daily News.
Gamblero tells the paper that he simply was “being a regular fan” when ushers told him to “cool down” during the third quarter of the game. He then says security “started putting hands on me.”
He declined to provide any further details of what transpired during and following his ejection, but he indicated that he paid a visit to a nearby hospital following the incident, where he says he was provided medication for his injuries.
“I’m recovering,” he told the Daily News. “There’s no way I could have made it to the (Nets) game yesterday (against the Spurs). To be honest, they’ve given me mad medicine and drugs to get better but the best medicine and drugs was the final score at the end of the game yesterday (an overtime win). That was way better than any morphine they could have pumped me up with.”
Gamblero’s recollection and reporting of the incident differs substantially from an account provided by a source to the Daily News.
“He was inciting the crowd,” the source told the paper, who also added that nearby fans complained about Gamblero’s behavior and that he refused to calm down. “We asked him to put his leg back and he wouldn’t put it back on. Once we realized he wouldn’t cooperate we had to get him out of there. The video couldn’t be any clearer. We’ve talked to season ticket holders in the area and they told us what happened in the video.”
Gamblero reportedly did not file a police report and insists that he was not under the influence of any alcohol or drugs during the incident. He also characterized the entire ordeal as “traumatic.”
“The last time I had something this traumatic was when they chopped my leg off 17 years ago (after an accident),” he said. I’ve been to prison and this was worse than all of this stuff.”
(image credit: Eric Soufer/Twitter)