Controversy Over Sponsor of Jay-Z’s Nets New Arena
Some controversy has arisen over the checkered past of London based bank that has signed on to sponsor the new Brooklyn stadium that will be the home of Jay-Z’s New Jersey Nets. According to The Brooklyn Paper, the centuries old Barclay’s Bank has been linked to some of the most controversial events in history, such as the sale of African slaves, The Holocaust and more recently South African Apartheid and the civil war in the Congo. In a deal announced at a press conference on January 19, Barclay’s has agreed to pay over $400 million dollars for the naming rights to the new arena on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. Jay-Z is a member of the Nets ownership group headed by billionaire developer Bruce Ratner. Prior to the naming controversy, the planned arena had caused an uproar in the Brooklyn neighborhoods surrounding the planned construction site. Area residents object to the use of taxpayer subsidies to finance the arena, and the likelihood that scores of people will be forced out of their homes to make way for the development.