Heckling Carmelo Anthony Costs Financial Services Employee His Job, Clean Arrest Record, Sweet Corporate Seats: Lawsuit

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As many of you know, a big part of a lot of people's jobs on Wall Street is to entertain clients, often times at sporting events. Since the purpose of these outings is to foster relationships and kiss ass, one generally aims to put his or her best foot forward, and not do anything that might make the client embarrassed to be seen with you in public. For instance, even if you're the type to engage in some serious heckling of players, you maybe dial it back a bit and leave go-to moves like repeatedly grabbing your crotch and shouting "Hey [object of derision], I got your foul shot right here" and then turning to your seat mate and smirking, as if to say "NAILED IT," at home. So far to our knowledge, trader Anthony Rotondi did not pull out the crotch move one night last winter at the Garden, but he did apparently engage in some sort of behavior that resulted in a lesson learned.

Former ING Financial Services trader Anthony Rotondi was booted from Madison Square Garden (MSG) this year for yelling “Carmelo, you stink.” Security wasn’t amused, and neither was his employer. He said he was ejected, arrested and fired after 12 years at ING. Now, Rotondi is suing the arena’s owners, seeking pre-litigation information, specifically the names of security guards who tossed him from the Jan. 7 game against the Houston Rockets. Criticizing New York Knicks player Carmelo Anthony shouldn’t have led to his ejection, he argued in a filing yesterday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. “At no point did Rotondi interfere with the game,” according to the filing. “To the contrary, Rotondi merely engaged in the type of fan-like conduct the Garden encourages each and every night that the Knicks play, and that he had engaged in at previous Knicks games at the Garden.” [...]

Rotondi said he and his supervisor took two clients to the game and sat in four seats owned by ING about four rows behind the basket that was closest to the Knicks bench, according to court filings. Rotondi says he yelled at Anthony in the final minute of the fourth quarter after watching the Knicks give up a 14-point lead and was escorted from his seat with 6.7 seconds left and ejected from the arena. Rotondi says he was arrested afterward and charged with tampering with a sports contest and criminal trespass, according to court filings. Police were told by security that Rotondi was ejected for interfering with the game and refused to leave while being escorted from the arena, according to court filings...Rotondi was fired two days after the game because of the incident at the arena, according to the court filing.

Obviously this lawsuit raises a lot more questions than it answers. For starters, Rotondi could not possibly have been kicked out of Madison Square Garden for simply yelling "You stink!" during an athletic competition, right? So what was he actually saying/doing that warranted an ejection, the circling in of the NYPD, and a call to his employer? And if Rotondi is telling the truth re: not interfering with the game or being abusive, what the hell happened here? Did MSG have it out for this guy? Was it a setup? HOW DEEP DOES THIS GO?

Brooklyn stock trader claims he was unfairly ejected from Knicks game at Madison Square Garden
Carmelo Catcall Gets Trader Bounced From Game: Cue Suit [Bloomberg]
Stock Trader Says Yelling "Carmelo, You Stink" at Knicks Game Got Him Ejected, Arrested and Fired [The Big Lead]

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