A gay-bashing Knicks fan video was taken near a playoff game at Madison Square Garden, showing the aftermath of what NYPD believes was a hate crime. The incident is giving a black eye to the sport that just saw the nation’s first openly-gay professional athlete.
The video, released last night, shows eight New York Knicks fans decked out in team colors and jerseys allegedly having just beaten up a gay couple. The attack left 27-year-old Nick Porto with a broken nose and his partner, 22-year-old Kevin Atkins, with a broken wrist.
The couple said they were walking home from Sunday brunch when they came under attack. The group of Knicks fans punched them and pulled hair, leaving their belongings destroyed.
Porto wrote on Facebook:
“A group of Knicks fans were upset about the game and they just decided to ‘f** bash’ the two of us, They called us f****ts. They made fun of my jeans — I made the jeans myself, for that day,” and when he asked why men were harassing them, “Fists started flying. I was on the ground, and the only thing I could do, I reached out and grabbed someone’s hair.”
Police think the gay-bashing Knicks fans were caught on video after the attack, which came as the Knicks were losing in their Eastern Conference semifinal game against the Indiana Pacers.
Though the attack happened between two of the city’s biggest gay neighborhoods — Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea — Porto said he feels responsible for letting his guard down.
“I’m so upset — it’s my fault, I spoke back to them — that Kevin was hit. He didn’t deserve it whatsoever,” Porto told DNAinfo.
The incident comes just two weeks after the NBA saw the first openly gay athlete in a major American sport. While other athletes have come out after their careers have ended, free agent center Jason Collins broke a barrier with the announcement that he is gay.
Here is the gay-bashing Knicks fan video, which shows some of the men police think are responsible along with potential witnesses:
Police have said they hope releasing the gay-bashing Knicks fan video they can get help in identifying the suspects. They urge those with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or online at the Crime Stoppers’ website.