James Dolan Is a Coward

Illustration for article titled James Dolan Is a Coward
Photo: Chris Trotman (Getty Images)

There’s a reason the New York Knicks spend every season swirling around the toilet bowl and it begins and ends with their owner, James Dolan. Yes, the same James Dolan who penned an uninspired tune about Trayvon Martin being murdered while having “nothing in his pockets but candy and a pop”; the same James Dolan who dismissed a lifelong Knicks fan as an “alcoholic” and advised that they “start rooting for the Nets because the Knicks don’t want you” and banned another from Madison Square Garden for telling Dolan to sell the team; the same James Dolan who lowballed Steve Kerr but invested heavily in people like Isiah Thomas; the same James Dolan who...you get the point.


And in what’s become his latest foray into ineptitude, Dolan somehow found a way to embarrass the Knicks yet again when, instead of publicly issuing a statement addressing the death of George Floyd while in police custody, he instead opted to hit send on an internal memo to Knicks staff explaining why he would not be doing so.

No, really.

“I realize the importance of this issue. Therefore, I want you to understand our internal position,” he wrote. “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.”

Feel free to read this bullshit in full yourself right here:

Since when did speaking out against racial injustice require “qualification” or some level of expertise? It doesn’t; which is exactly why Knicks employees were so incensed by Dolan’s Trump-esque leadership that they reportedly held a staff-only meeting to discuss the situation.

Twitter users, however, held their own meeting publicly.


In response to the backlash, Dolan fired off a second email on Tuesday in a weak attempt to clarify his position.

“Yesterday, I made a sincere attempt to provide my perspective on a very difficult issue, one that has no easy answers,” he wrote. “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.”


He added, “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 help make our community even better. I know you will also.”

Going so far out of your way to publicly remain silent on such an important issue isn’t even remotely close to doing “as much as you can to help make our community even better.” It’s cowardice, or more specifically, it’s James Dolan.


But if Dolan ever decides to be on the right side of history for once, let Ben & Jerry’s—who called out Trump, Congress and the Department of Justice in its own statement—show him how it’s done.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.


The Thugnificent Pangaean

“Yesterday, I made a sincere attempt to provide my perspective on a very difficult issue, ===>>> one that has no easy answers <<<<=

I feel for Mr. Dolan: not letting cops get away with murder is a difficult issue that has no easy answers.

Another portrait in courage.