(A.J. Perez) The Brooklyn man arrested after he interrupted Super Bowl XVIII MVP Malcolm Smith’s postgame news conference didn’t start Sunday looking to make it onto national TV and, ultimately, into handcuffs.
Matthew Mills, an 30-year-old independent journalist from Brooklyn, told NJ.com his aim was just to get close to MetLife Stadium — which had layers of security in what’s supposed to be the most secure sporting event in the United States — so he could conduct some fan interviews.
Then the self-described 9/11 truther saw an employee bus at Secaucus Junction and hopped aboard.
Around Mills’ neck was an old credential from a festival he covered, a rectangular badge that, at quick glance, didn’t look too dissimilar from the ones issued to media members, team employees and others who worked the Super Bowl.
He also used a common refrain whenever hassled by security, which is supposed to verify each credential or ticket with a barcode along with putting attendees through other security screenings.
“I just said I was running late for work and I had to get in there,” Mills said. “It was that simple.”
Mills said he got through multiple layers of security using that bogus story.
“I didn’t think that I’d get that far,” Mill said. “I just kept getting closer and closer. Once I got past the final gate and into the stadium, I was dumbfounded.”
After the game concluded, Mills walked into the media tent, where players and coaches were brought for interviews.
“I just saw my opportunity to get my word out there and I took it,” Mills said.
Mills grabbed the microphone as Smith began to talk to reporters and said the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington were “perpetrated by people in our own government.”
“Check his press pass,” Smith said with a smirk after the initial shock wore off.
He didn’t have one. Mills didn’t even have a ticket. Still, he was able to get his message out to a national audience as ESPN and other outlets showed the presser live.
Mills was quickly ushered off the dais by a public relations representative and eventually arrested. Mills left the area without a struggle and was charged with trespassing. He was released a couple hours later on his own recognizance.
But Mills’ gate-crashing leaves people wondering: With all of the millions spent on security, how safe is the Super Bowl anyway?
An NFL spokesman has referred all questions to the New Jersey State Police, the law enforcement agency that oversees the Meadowlands.
An NJ State Police spokesman gave NJ.com Mills’ name, but didn’t immediately return a message inquiring about how Mills was able to get into MetLife.
Mills is affiliated with WeAreChange, an organization whose aim is “confronting prominent and powerful people with the tough questions the mainstream media doesn’t want to ask.”
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