Dolan Clarifies His Racist Stance on Racism

So James Dolan sent an email to his MSG employees to clarify his position on racism:

“I know how important this topic is to so many, and I do not want there to be any confusion about where I as an individual, or we as a company stand. So let me be clear: we vehemently condemn and reject racism against anyone, period.”

OK that’s a good start for Mr. Dolan. You might ask as a company, what is MSG doing to combat racism? Well:

“My point yesterday was about actions, and the importance of living your values,” Dolan’s Tuesday email continued. “At Madison Square Garden, we have worked hard to build an environment of inclusion and mutual respect and those are the values we try to live every day.

“Racism is born of ignorance and it’s up to each of us to understand the person working beside you is your equal without regard to color, or any of the other qualities that make us diverse. And any injustice to one person is an injustice to everyone.

“This is how we at MSG fight racism. We start with ourselves, and through our actions, we define who we are. That is how we can be an example to the wider world. That was the point of my message yesterday.

“I am proud of the environment you have created here. I know that this is a difficult time, and that we will always need to communicate with one another on hard issues. I will continue to do as much as I can to do as much as I can to help make our community even better. I know you will also.”

No. That’s not how you fight racism. That’s not at all how you fight racism. Dolan clears the lowest bar of anti-racism here with “the person working beside you is your equal without regard to color.” Sure I guess that’s the basic definition of racism so — hooray? From a historical context he’s met the 19th century bar for being woke.

“And any injustice to one person is an injustice to everyone.” Sure thing, but today we’re specifically talking about injustices to people of color. I understand that from some perspectives you could argue that he’s taking a stronger stance on racism, not limiting it to one type. But on the other hand, he’s specifically ignoring the message that black people bare the brunt of legal injustices — from citizens calling 911 on them for normal activities (jogging, being at the gym, etc.), to their unequal treatment by the law including police, prosecutors, judges, and juries. Of course you could add economic racism, with regards to schools, careers, upward mobility, red lining, bank loans, etc. All of this gets lost when you change the mantra from race specific to all of humanity.

Let’s clarify this point with an example. Imagine for a second that you have a family member with (God forbid) larynx cancer. So you decide to raise some money to bring awareness to larynx cancer. After some initial success, you go to your next potential donor and they remark “why are you only raising money for larynx cancer? Don’t we want to defeat all cancer? And why stop at cancer? You should tackle all illnesses!”

Strictly speaking the donor has a point. Raising money to defeat all illness is a much stronger goal. But by taking the stronger stance, your message has gotten diluted. If you raise money for all cancer or all illnesses, little to no money will be used for larynx cancer, because there are more popular things to use that money on. And now larynx cancer is again an afterthought, and the message you’re trying to convey is lost.

That’s exactly what Dolan is doing here. He’s obscuring the message that people of color are being oppressed. He’s lumping in the problems of the African American community with everyone else, so that the problems affecting black people are not as important as the ones we all suffer. People who generalize the message, taking the message from one group and applying it to the whole, are in essence diverting the original ideals and goals. Which means it is in opposition to that movement.

And Dolan continues: “This is how we at MSG fight racism. We start with ourselves, and through our actions, we define who we are.” The underlying theme is that racism can solved by everyone’s personal reflection, ignoring that there is a problem that needs to be tackled from a communal sense.

Now if you’re white, read that last line again, but this time imagine you’re not white. Imagine you’re a black person who has suffered numerous acts of racism in your lifetime. Does his solution seem to fix any of those racist incidents? “This is how we at MSG fight racism. We start with ourselves, and through our actions, we define who we are.”

By starting with an inner journey, could you stop the security guard from following you around in that store? By looking at yourself in the mirror, could you have prevented those taxis from speeding past you when you needed one? Would some self reflection have fixed that interaction with the person in your neighborhood who called the cops on you and your friends who were just hanging out in front of your house? Did the innocent victims of racist police brutality just fail to find their inner self?

People of color know that racism doesn’t get solved by people of color. They know they’re not at fault when people look at their darker skin and make nefarious assumptions. So how do Dolan’s words help them?

This begs the question — who is Dolan’s audience for this line? Surely it’s not black people. So then who? And why? Is it for white people to assuage their culpability? Is it so he can look in the mirror and say he has hired black people to prominent positions and declare he’s not a racist to himself by his own meager definition and not have to feel guilty about what is happening?

By failing to mention systematic racism directly and failing to take in to account the perspective of people of color, Dolan’s attempts at being woke instead reveals his racist convictions. Dolan doesn’t have to say anything blatantly racist, it’s clear from the subtext and the parts he omitted to specifically mention. For any person, these are disagreeable beliefs. But for an owner in a sport where 75% of the players are black, it’s straight up bad for business.

Dolan Sucks = Security Guards

From a friend who had this encounter at the Garden the other day. I’ve edited it slightly to protect the names and for formatting purposes.

Looks like I now share something in common with Spike Lee, Charles Oakley & a few other exhausted Knick fans…

So with a little over a minute to go, the Knicks down more than 10 again and the crowd chanting “SELL THE TEAM!” with gusto (the loudest the tourists had been all night). I shout “DOLAN SUCKS!”…once. I’m immediately confronted by an MSG gestapo member who instructs me (and my son) to exit. I reply, “Seriously?” He nods.

My son & I step out. We are now surrounded by 4 members of the MSG security force. I say, “what is this all about?” The MSG rep sternly says “those 2 words”. I said, “Dolan sucks?” He nods. I said, “I didn’t notice ‘no free speech’ on the ticket?” We stand surrounded by 4 MSG guards awaiting — what, I don’t know? I look to a less enthusiastic guard and say “I’m going to take a leak, ok?” He says go ahead. I go in the bathroom & basically wait it out. 10 minutes later…all clear! My son & I duck out down the stairs & out of the building.

So…this is what it’s like when you’re a silver spooned son of a billionaire who inherits a storied franchise with no knowledge or ability in how to run it and your ego is so brittle you need to have goons intimidate the folks that have supported the team before you poisoned the entire building. We can only hope he moves on to another toy his father gifts him. It’s been a long, exhausting and expensive walk in the desert…but Knick fans are always hopeful optimists…and I am one. For now the Garden is a quiet and sad resting place where great teams once roamed.

For now, the team echoes it’s owner…directionless, purposeless with no particular drive or merit.

Just Change Jets to Knicks…

Larry David roasting the Jets (and supposedly a little bit of the Knicks) on the last episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

WARNING NSFW Language!

JK: “You come into this house and bring up the Fucking Jets? Do you know how much disappointment I’ve had to live through with the Jets?”

LD: “You’ve lived with disappointment? Are you serious?”

JK: “Yeah Larry!”

LD: “You know what this team has done to me? I haven’t enjoyed a football season since 1969. Maybe ’98 with Parcels as coach for a year.”

JK: “Get out of here.”

LD: “That was good too. But that’s it.”

Knicks Fire Steve Mills

According to multiple sources:

The New York Knicks parted ways with president Steve Mills, the team announced Tuesday.

General manager Scott Perry will oversee the basketball operations in the interim, the team said.

“Steve and I have come to the decision that it would be best for him to leave his role as president of the New York Knicks,” Dolan said in a prepared statement. “We thank Steve for his many years of service to our organization and look forward to continuing our relationship with him as part of our board.”

Well that’s nice, isn’t that special?

via GIPHY

Someone in their mid-40s asked me the other day if he will see a Knicks championship in his lifetime. I said Dolan is 64, and he’s got at least 10-20 more years running this team. At that point, it’ll be a coin flip if the next owner is competent or not.

I have zero-faith Dolan will ever turn the team around. Absolutely none. The name Masai Ujiri will be floated by columnists looking for clicks. But the Knicks’ will hire someone else, as they always do. The great ones never come. Not Kyrie. Not Durant. Not LeBron. Not even LaMarcus Aldridge nor Greg Monroe. We get stuck with the J.R. Smiths and the Clarence Weatherspoons.

In the last 22 years, Dolan has made a toxic environment that will repel the best GMs and free agents. Who would want to work for him? Would you? Think about all the stuff that has gone public, and imagine what hasn’t. If a job in your field opened up and Dolan is your direct boss, would you take it?

Yup me neither.

TMZ Reports: Kobe Bryant Killed in Helicopter Crash

Sad if it’s true. So far only TMZ is the one reporting it…

https://www.tmz.com/2020/01/26/kobe-bryant-killed-dead-helicopter-crash-in-calabasas/

Kobe Bryant died in a helicoper crash in Calabasas Sunday morning … TMZ Sports has confirmed.

Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down. A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. We’re told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

EDIT: An L.A. Times writer has confirmed it as well.

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