The New York Knicks' team Instagram account decided to participate in “Blackout Tuesday,” posting this black square image in solidarity with those fighting racial injustice:
The post comes one day after an internal email leaked from Madison Square Garden CEO and New York Knicks principal owner James Dolan explaining the company's laughable decision to not issue any kind of statement in support of racial equality. On Monday, ESPN's Pablo Torre reported that Knicks players and other staff members were “furious” about the lack of a statement.
The embattled Knicks owner explained the decision like so:
“This is a turbulent time in our country,” Dolan said. “The coronavirus and civil unrest have taken their toll on our way of life. We at Madison Square Garden stand by our values of respect and peaceful workplace. We always will…As companies in the business of sports and entertainment, however, we are not any more qualified than anyone else to offer our opinion on social matters.”
According to Torre, “dozens of disgruntled MSG employees” met without the Knicks owner to discuss the memo:
I have just been told that dozens of disgruntled MSG employees are currently meeting, without Jim Dolan, to discuss Dolan's internal memo and position on this subject. It's the equivalent of a players-only meeting, except it's the non-player employees meeting. https://t.co/1Cm8DR4YDQ
— Pablo Torre (@PabloTorre) June 2, 2020
Despite the Instagram post (an act that doesn't really mean anything on its own, though Knicks players also got involved), the Knicks remain one of two NBA franchises yet to issue an official statement on Floyd's death and the continued police mistreatment of African Americans. The San Antonio Spurs have also not commented, though head coach Gregg Popovich emphatically denounced President Donald Trump's leadership to The Nation.
While Dolan does have a respectable track record of hiring minorities to executive positions, he's a known friend and major donor to President Donald Trump, which may partially explain his reticence to outwardly support the protestors.
It has been a rough year for Dolan and the Knicks, and this whole situation has been another source of ridicule.