Knicks’ free agency prospects reach new low after generic statement on equality

first_imgMORE: Some NBA players uncomfortable returning until racial injustice is addressedAnd that’s it. No mention of Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement or police brutality. When asked on “First Take” about the overall league reaction to the Knicks’ latest PR blunder, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said Dolan’s inability to take advice will continue to prevent New York from being a desirable destination.”The Knicks’ approval rating amongst players is so low right now. It’s devastating for their hopes to appeal to anybody and say, ‘Come play for us’ going forward,” Windhorst said. “The whole purpose of retrofitting their front office, of hiring one of the most successful agents in the business in Leon Rose [as team president], hiring an image consultant [Steve Stoute] who’s famous for doing work with, frankly, with African Americans and being more inclusive of that operation, it’s all undercut when the owner continues to show bad judgment.”And he has people around him that give him advice to make better decisions, and he just doesn’t do it. When you talk to people who work for Jim Dolan, they will say, ‘We really like him. He gets a bad rap.’ But no one will ever say that he’s got good judgment. He’s notorious for bad judgment.”Dolan had previously sent an email to Madison Square Garden employees saying the company is not “more qualified than anyone else to offer our opinion on social matters.”At the time of the memo, the Knicks and Spurs were the only NBA franchises that had not yet shared an official statement. However, San Antonio president and head coach Gregg Popovich had spoken extensively with The Nation’s Dave Zirin about issues plaguing the United States, and the Spurs have since created an entire section of their team site called “Spurs Voices,” which features several employees sharing stories about how racism has impacted their lives.Meanwhile, the Knicks failed to do the bare minimum, electing to go with generic word soup. The most recent 5 statements from NBA ownership/teams and whether they mentioned “police” or “police brutality”:Pelicans ✅Pistons ✅Hawks ✅Spurs ✅Knicks 🟥 https://t.co/L0X2GvlOq7— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 9, 2020″When the Knicks come in this late,” Windhorst said, “instead of being as forceful as the teams who came out late have been, they go right back to the beginning and give a tough statement.”New York is always thrown out as a potential landing spot for marquee free agents because of the appeal of the city, the Garden and the possibility of leading a basement dweller back to contender status. But none of that matters if Dolan refuses to change his ways.Releasing a strong, direct statement should be an easy task, but as long as Dolan is involved, that’s never going to be the case. Knicks owner James Dolan reportedly left members of his organization “furious” because of the team’s refusal to speak out following the death of George Floyd. New York finally released a statement Tuesday, and it only made the situation worse.”Every one of us has a role to play in creating a more just and equal society, where there is no racism, bigotry, violence or hate,” the statement read. “We stand with all who act for positive change.”last_img

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