James Dolan, the mercurial CEO of Madison Sq. Backyard Leisure, has used facial recognition software program to bar one other fan from getting into one of many company-owned venues, this time blocking a Brooklyn-born legal professional from attending a Jan. 10 Rangers sport.
Benjamin Pinczewski had handed by means of a metallic detector and emptied the contents of his pocket for safety guards for what he anticipated to be decrease degree seats close to the ice with buddies. All of a sudden, he mentioned two MSG officers approached and requested him if he was Benjamin Pinczewski.
He mentioned when he replied that was certainly his title, he was handed a proper letter that mentioned, “You’ve gotten been denied entry into the venue as a result of you’re a lawyer at a agency that presently represents a number of plaintiffs in litigation in opposition to Madison Sq. Backyard Leisure Corp or one among its associates or subsidiaries (collectively the “Firm”).” He mentioned he was then escorted from the sector by the guards.
“It was very embarrassing to be marched out in entrance of buddies and followers like I used to be a legal,” Pinczewski mentioned. He referred to as Dolan’s coverage “petty and ridiculous.” And mentioned he’s particularly alarmed that the Backyard used facial recognition software program to flag him. He presumes the Backyard obtained his face from the site of the legislation agency the place he’s “of counsel” at Elefterakis, Eleftrekis and Panek. He mentioned utilizing his face photograph was carried out with out his permission and that he was shocked to be taught he was barred.
The MSG letter continued “On this regard, we beforehand suggested your agency’s management in addition to the legal professional(s) who commenced the topic litigation that due to the adverserial nature inherent in litigation proceedings and due to the potential for contact with the Firm’s staff and disclosure outdoors correct litigation discovery channels, that would outcome out of your presence on the Firm’s venues, attorneys out of your agency could not enter the Firm’s venues till remaining decision of the litigation.”
The 61 12 months outdated legal professional who was born in Canarse, Brooklyn however now lives in Closter, N.J. mentioned he’s a lifelong Knicks and Rangers fan. “I’m nonetheless a Brooklyn boy at coronary heart,” he mentioned.
Pinczewski has been lively in Democratic politics in addition to youth baseball sports activities. He is likely one of the co-founders of the Borough Cup, a youth baseball event involving dozens of groups that has performed video games on the Brooklyn Cyclones Stadium and Yankee Stadium. He was honored by each the Shirley Chisolm Democratic Membership and the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Membership which named him “Man of the 12 months” in 2021 and was honored on Martin Luther King Day in 2020 by Caribbean Pictures TV as one among its Management Award recepients.
“I personally couldn’t care if I see one other Knicks or Rangers sport in individual,” mentioned Pinczewski, “however I need to shine a lightweight on what he’s doing with the facial recognition software program. Who is aware of who might be banned subsequent? What if it’s a father taking his child to his first sporting occasion and the daddy will get kicked out?”
He mentioned “Dolan is doubtlessly destroying the flexibility of oldsters and their children to bond over sports activities.”
MSG is defending its coverage and says Pincweski knew forward of time that he was banned–a declare that Pincweski says will not be true.
“MSG instituted an easy coverage that precludes attorneys from companies pursuing lively litigation in opposition to the Firm from attending occasions at our venues till that litigation has been resolved. Whereas we perceive this coverage is disappointing to some, we can’t ignore the truth that litigation creates an inherently adversarial setting. All impacted attorneys had been notified of the coverage. We proceed to clarify that impacted attorneys will probably be welcomed again to our venues upon decision of the litigation.”
It isn’t the primary time the MSG Enterprises use of facial recognition software program has stirred controversy. Simply final month, Kelly Conlon, a 44 12 months outdated legal professional from New Jersey, was booted from seeing the Rockettes on the Christmas Spectacular at Radio Metropolis Music Corridor, [which is owned by MSG Entertainment] that she was planning to attend together with her daughters Ladies Scout troop. She had pushed her daughter and several other of her daughter’s buddies to the present, anticipating to see the excessive kicking Rockettes. As a substitute, she was plucked from the road, booted from the present and needed to wait outdoors for 90 minutes within the rain earlier than she might be reunited together with her daughter and buddies for the journey again to Jersey. Conlon is with the legislation agency of Davis Saperstein and he or she mentioned she was knowledgeable that the rationale for the banishment was as a result of her agency was concerned in litigation in opposition to Madison Sq. Backyard Leisure Corp though in reviews she mentioned she was not personally concerned in any of the lawsuits.
Pinczewski famous that the letter he was handed explaining why he was barred misspelled his final title. “That exhibits what a bunch of incompetents they’re,” mentioned Pinczewski.
MSG can also be defending its use of the controversial software program, which is extra generally utilized by airways to thwart terrorists and by police departments to establish and arrest criminals. MSG Leisure maintains it’s in compliance with all legal guidelines on the matter.
“The facial recognition stuff is horrifying,” mentioned Pinczweski. “I’ve by no means seen it carried out by another enterprise.” He added the Backyard has not provided to refund the price of the ticket for the sport he was barred from seeing in individual. He estimates it value about $300.
”This exhibits what a petty particular person James Dolan is,” Pinczweski mentioned.