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James Dolan says he can’t comment on George Floyd because he’s not qualified: report

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 6/2/2020 By Stefan Bondy, New York Daily News

James Dolan said he’s staying silent on George Floyd’s death because he’s not qualified to comment.

“We know that some of you have asked about whether our company is going to make a public statement," Dolan wrote to his MSG employees, according to an internal email obtained by ESPN. "This is a turbulent time in our country. 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."

As civil unrest and protests grip the country — including in New York City — the Knicks and Spurs remain the only NBA teams not to make public statements. Knicks players and employees “are furious” about the inaction, according to ESPN.

Dolan concluded in the email that his company is committed to operating in a respectful way. The billionaire has a strong record of hiring African-Americans and women in executive positions, but MSG was also successfully sued by former Garden executive Anucha Browne Sanders for harassment and wrongful termination.

“Our companies are committed to upholding our values, which include creating a respectful workplace for all, and that will never change,” Dolan’s email read.  "What we say to each other matters. How we treat each other matters. And that's what will get us through this difficult time."

While Dolan keeps a low public profile and apparently doesn’t feel comfortable commenting on social issues, he has been open about his support of Donald Trump. Dolan donated $300,000 to Trump’s 2016 campaign, then pledged $125,000 to his re-election. More recently, the Dolan patriarch — Charles — donated $125,000 Trump’s reelection campaign, according to records.

James Dolan explained his allegiance to Trump in 2018.

"I've known him for a long time. I got married at Mar-a-Lago,” he told ESPN. “I'm a member of Mar-a-Lago, and I support him as a friend. And you don't have to agree with everything that he's doing in order to support him. And he's, by the way, our president, and I don't understand people who wish our president to do badly. Why would you wish your president to do badly? It's like wishing that your milkman will bring you sour milk."

Dolan has had another eventful year as Knicks owner. The team disappointed, and he fired both the coach and team president. Dolan also hired marketing guru Steve Stoute to re-brand the image of himself and the Knicks, but still endured chants of “Sell the team” at MSG. Just before the coronavirus shutdown, Dolan feuded with Knicks superfan Spike Lee. Then Dolan contracted COVID-19 and recovered.


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