George Takei posted and responds to a picture of a gay couple who was being attacked by a pack of Knicks fans near Madison Square Garden. The incident has attracted high-profile support.
Nick Porto and Kevin Atkins, along with their story Wednesday on his hugely popular Facebook page, which counts more than 4 million fans. He followed up the next day with a post including video of the alleged attackers put out by police.
“This violence happened just blocks from where I’m in rehearsal in Midtown NYC for Allegiance,” wrote the actor and gay-rights activist.
“Shame on the perpetrators, and on the bystanders who did nothing but take photos.”
Authorities said the pair was attacked by men who shouted antigay slurs while the two walked arm in arm down Eighth Avenue, near Madison Square Garden, while the Knicks were playing the Indiana Pacers early Sunday evening.
Cops are now seeking eight men, seen in a video clad in New York Knicks Jerseys, in connection to the Sunday attack. Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
The couple has seen an explosion of support across social media the the story first broke on Monday. Takei’s Wednesday post had been liked by more than 13,000 people and had been shared 5,145 times as of Friday morning. A video of the eight men released by police, contained in a follow-up Facebook post by Takei about the incident on Thursday, had been shared more than 2,000 times as of Friday morning.
The Knicks did not make any public statements about the attack, and a spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The attack sent shockwaves through the larger gay community, with many individuals, along with popular gay bars, clubs and organizations sharing and tweeting pictures and video put out by the police in the hope of catching the attackers.