EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – A top New Jersey lawmaker has demanded a crackdown on rowdy football fans, after The New York Times reported that Jets fans gather on a pedestrian ramp in Giants Stadium during halftime urging women to expose their breasts.
When a woman obliges — as one did at Gate D on Sunday during the game against Pittsburgh — the crowd roars in approval.
New Jersey Senate President Dick Codey called for an investigation by the heads of the state police and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.
Codey said in a statement that Gate D apparently stands for "drunk and disgusting." He added that intimidation and obscenities have no place at sports events, and violators should have their tickets taken away and be removed from the stadium.
George Zoffinger, president of the agency that runs the stadium, said Tuesday he would increase the 370-member stadium security force for all remaining Jets and Giants home games.
"This boorish behavior should not be tolerated," Zoffinger told The Associated Press on Tuesday night.
Codey was at Sunday's game, Zoffinger said, but didn't complain about the bad behavior before issuing his statement.
The Jets termed the behavior by the fans as "outrageous" and demanded the authority take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.
The authority "has assured us that they will address this conduct at all Meadowlands events," Matt Higgins, the Jets' senior vice president-business operations, said in a statement. "We will not allow a small minority of people to ruin the experience for our fans and will be monitoring the situation."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello called the conduct by the fans "unacceptable" and said the league was confident the authority will take "aggressive and appropriate" measures.
During Sunday's halftime, about 10 security guards in yellow jackets stood at the bottom of the circular, multilevel ramp, but did not move to stop the crowd of fans, the Times reported.
State police Sgt. Stephen Jones said troopers and security guards already are doing their jobs.
"Where people have been caught exposing themselves, they have been evicted from the stadium and often arrested," Jones told the AP. "Where other fans exhibit dangerous or illegal behaviors including harassment, they have been dealt with in similar fashion."