As of now, the San Antonio Spurs and the New York Knicks are the only two teams in the NBA not to give a formal statement on the death of George Floyd and the protests that have followed in the days since. Because of this, players on the Knicks’ roster and other employees of the franchise are reportedly not too happy.
On Monday, ESPN‘s Pablo Torre obtained an email that Knicks team owner James Dolan sent out to Madison Square Garden employees, in which he defended the organization’s decision to not put out any sort of statement on the situation.
“I’m told that Knicks players and employees are furious that the team hasn’t made a public statement about George Floyd,” Torre tweeted. “And I just obtained the e-mail that owner Jim Dolan sent to MSG employees today defending the organization’s decision to stay silent“
As for the email, the basic premise is that because the Knicks are in the business of sports and entertainment, they’re not qualified to give an opinion on the matter.
“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. What’s important is how we operate. Our companies are committed to upholding our values, which include creating a respectful workplace for all, and that will never change. What we say to each other matters. How we treat each other matters. And that’s what will get us through this difficult time.”
As for the Spurs–the only other team to not issue a statement–San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich did an interview with The Nation condemning Donald Trump and his handling of the current situation.
“I’m appalled that we have a leader who can’t say ‘Black Lives Matter.’ That’s why he hides in the White House basement. There is nothing he can do to make this better because of who he is: a deranged idiot.”