- A noose was found on the construction site of the $1.7 billion MSG Entertainment Sphere venue project in Las Vegas.
- "This disgusting and vile act is completely unacceptable, and we are working with local authorities to identify who is responsible so that appropriate action can be taken," the company said in a statement emailed to Construction Dive. "We will reinforce our policy of zero tolerance for harassment of any kind — including racist and harmful actions such as this."
- While construction started on the project in 2018, it faced delays due to COVID-19, though it is still slated to be completed in 2023. Originally led by Dallas-based contractor AECOM, MSG took over the construction of the facility in late 2020, in order to bolster its own in-house construction experience.
A similar incident was reported last summer at another huge Las Vegas hotel project, the $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas. According to a statement from Resorts World, a noose was discovered in one of the hotel's towers and reported to general contractor W.A. Richardson on June 24, 2020.
Nooses have appeared on construction jobsites across the country over the last several years, and gained increased attention following George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis in May of 2020. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has received at least 50 complaints involving nooses on construction sites between 2015 and 2020, according to The Washington Post.
The most recent high-profile occurrence has been at an Amazon construction site in Windsor, Connecticut, led by New Jersey-based contractor RC Andersen. Since April 27, up to eight nooses have been found on the 3.6 million-square-foot fulfillment center jobsite.
While the FBI is investigating the incidents as hate crimes, and Amazon has shut the site down twice while condemning hate at its facility, whoever is responsible for the nooses still hadn't been identified at press time, despite a $100,000 reward being offered in the case.
That's been the consistent hallmark of more than 20 other racist incidents that have made news on jobsites over the last year. While companies denounce the actions and often call in local authorities to investigate, few arrests have been made. One exception has been at EllisDon's Michael Garron Hospital jobsite in Canada, where the offer of a $50,000 reward resulted in the arrest of a suspect in the crime.
The recurrent appearance of the hate symbol on jobsites has challenged the industry, which is trying to expand its diversity and inclusion initiatives in order to attract younger workers to its ranks. Hundreds of construction companies have signed onto the Associated General Contractors of America’s Culture of CARE initiative, which promotes diversity and inclusion in the construction industry.