Without mentioning the death of George Floyd or the dominant issue of police brutality, James Dolan have made such a vague and brief statement that you wonder what could have taken her so long.
“Each of us has a role to play in creating a more just and equitable society in which there is no racism, bigotry, violence or hatred,” says the statement. “We are with all those who act for positive change.”
The statement followed a stream of criticism directed at the Knicks, the latest NBA team to talk about the social issues that beset the country. A source confirmed that Madison Square Garden employees were shocked by the silence, prompting Dolan to send an internal memo explaining his position.
“As companies in the sports and entertainment industry, however, we are not more qualified than anyone else to offer our opinion on social matters,” wrote Dolan.
The owner attempted to clarify in an internal follow-up email, obtained from SportsNet New York, explaining that the company’s actions speak louder. A week later, the Knicks posted their statement via Twitter.
Multiple former NBAs have condemned the Knicks for their silence, including Caron Butler, who has insinuated that black athletes will not want to play for Dolan.
“And to say nothing at one of the greatest moments, do I think in our life that we have been able to experience and gather around, have a hand and be part of it, and be absent at that moment? It’s just that it tells you a lot, “Butler told HoopsHype.” And I know many players are like ‘How can I go through a brick wall for this organization and understand and know that my rights probably don’t really matter to this person? ‘ “
Days before the Knicks’ declaration, former Cavs center Kendrick Perkins insulted Dolan on ESPN. Dolan is a friend and supporter of President Donald Trump, who has deployed the national guard to manage the protesters.
“Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to James ‘Cupcake’ Dolan,” said Perkins. “And if you want to be nice and call him James L. Dolan, make sure the ‘L’ is lost, because he lost … The New York Knicks are the weakest link in the NBA. They do not represent the essence of the NBA. The NBA speaks of a brotherhood. The NBA represents leadership. And guess what? James Dolan and the New York Knicks are missing in both of these categories. “
The Knicks’ statement was in stark contrast to that released this week by the owner of the networks Joe Tsai, who welcomed the demonstrators outside his Barclays center.
“Those of us who absolutely cannot experience personal pain and indignation of racism towards blacks feel a sense of helplessness as frustration and anxiety reach a boiling point. But that doesn’t mean we remain inactive, “Tsai told The Daily News’s Kristian Winfield.” We said that we will use the voice and platform of the Nets, Liberty and Barclays Center to facilitate empathy and dialogue. In Brooklyn, the Plaza of Flatbush and the Atlantic has become a place where people get together and make their voices heard. If it continues to serve as a place where everyone from our community – from residents to businesses and the police – gather peacefully to listen to each other each other and find common ground, then it’s okay for me. “