One day after stating that the New York Knicks weren’t qualified to comment on the death of George Floyd, team owner James Dolan attempted to clarify his position.
Dolan sent a second email Tuesday to employees of the Madison Square Garden Company, the Knicks’ parent organization, laying out the firm’s opposition to racism. Both emails were seen by multiple media outlets.
“Let me be clear: We vehemently condemn and reject racism against anyone, period. It is against every value that we hold dear,” Dolan wrote in the Tuesday email. “My point yesterday was about actions, and the importance of living your values. At Madison Square Garden, we have worked hard to build an environment of inclusion and mutual respect and those are the values that we try to live every day.
“Racism is born of ignorance and it’s up to each of us to understand that 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.”
On Monday, Dolan responded to questions of whether the team would issue a statement regarding Floyd, a black man who died May 25 after a white officer kneeled on his neck for eight-plus minutes. The incident has sparked protests nationwide regarding police brutality and racism.
Dolan wrote Monday, “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.”
The Knicks and the San Antonio Spurs remain the only NBA teams yet to publicly comment on Floyd’s death. However, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has come out in support of protesters and against the policies of President Donald Trump, whom he has frequently criticized in the past.
The Knicks also weighed in Tuesday on Instagram, posting a black square followed by #BlackoutTuesday and #NBATogether. The BlackoutTuesday hashtag was prevalent across social media, with users calling for change in the wake of Floyd’s death.