Islanders management said Monday it was disappointed by fans who allegedly harassed Capitals supporters during and after Sunday's playoff game at Nassau Coliseum. A spokesman for the building management group said it will continue re-evaluating security measures for the rest of the playoffs.
In an open letter on his blog, Brooklyn resident Nate Smith said he and fellow Capitals fans were victims of increasingly inappropriate and even criminal behavior. He alleges they also had beer thrown on them and were subjected to racist and homophobic chants. Their car also was keyed twice and had its license plate stolen, he said.
Smith did admit on his blog that he engaged in a lot of the typical trash talk between opposing fans. But he said Islanders fans escalated it to the point of harassment.
"I'm a loud fan and I certainly don't back down from anything . . . ,'' Smith said. "But we certainly didn't do anything to deserve [the mistreatment].''
A Nassau County police spokesman said no arrests were made at the Coliseum but that two police reports were on file -- for a stolen license plate and for criminal mischief.
"We are disappointed by the reported actions of a select group of fans that attended Game 3,'' the Islanders said in the statement. "The alleged racist or homophobic remarks directed at several Washington Capitals fans are by no means associated with or supported by [our] organization . . .
"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.''
Game 4 is Tuesday night at 7:30 at the Coliseum.
Jerry Goldman, general manager at Nassau Coliseum for Spectator Management Group, said in a statement that the company was "sorry to hear about this group's experience.''
Smith said security on Sunday was less than adequate.
"They should have a lot more security in the parking lot,'' the Alexandria, Virginia, native said in an email to Newsday. "That's where most of the trouble was.''
Smith said some Islanders fans have apologized on his blog and on Twitter, but that others have egged him on. The team has not reached out to him or others in his group, he said.
Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis said on his blog: "Our ownership group had a 'moment' at the game, too; nothing too dramatic, and Islanders security for our group . . . did a great job in helping us get to and from the arena.''