Banner critical of Jets’ deal with casino flies over stadium
EAST RUTHERFORD — An airplane banner criticizing the New York Jets' gaming deal partnership with casino operator MGM Resorts International circled MetLife Stadium several times a few hours before the team's game against the Buffalo Bills.
The banner trailing the plane Sunday read: "SHAME ON JETS/MGM #ENDGUNVIOLENCE #STOPMGM."
In July, MGM sued more than 1,900 victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in a bid to avoid liability for the gunfire that rained down from a lone gunman at its Mandalay Bay casino-resort in October 2017.
The Jets and Las Vegas-based MGM announced two weeks ago they agreed on a multiyear deal that is the first of its kind in the NFL. MGM Resorts is now the official gaming partner of the Jets. The agreement is the most comprehensive and integrated gaming partnership in the league, and the first to go beyond a casino sponsorship.
The Jets had no comment on the banner. MGM did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.
A few New York-area politicians recently slammed the partnership on social media, citing the lawsuit by MGM.
New York State Sen. Kevin Parker from Brooklyn wrote on Twitter: "I strongly disagree with @nyjets partnering with @MGMResortsIntl. The @MGMResortsIntl decision to sue the victims of the Mandalay Bay Shooting in Las Vegas is a complete disgrace! The @nyjets SHOULD NOT move forward #STOPMGM."
Added N.Y. State Sen. Luis Sepulveda from the Bronx: "Shame on the @nyjets for partnering with @MGMResortsIntl who decided to sue the victims of the Mandalay Bay Shooting in Las Vegas. I urge folks to boycott the team until they end the partnership. #StopMGM."
Last month, a panel of federal judges denied a request from MGM to centralize 13 lawsuits stemming from the shooting. MGM had asked to centralize the cases after it filed nine lawsuits in various states against the over 1,900 victims, but said it respected the ruling by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and will litigate its motions in the courts where the actions are pending.
MGM said at the time that its lawsuits are meant to avoid years of costly litigation and are focused only on people who have sued the company and voluntarily dismissed their claims or have threatened to sue.
(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)