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Knicks, in statement, condemn racism, bigotry, violence, hate

Knicks owner James Dolan

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: New York Knicks owner James Dolan reacts as he watches an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors from his front row seat on March 28, 2019 at Madison Square Garden Center in New York City. Raptors won 117-92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

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The Knicks actively and deliberately said nothing publicly as an organization in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.

Fairly or not, that became a notable stance. Every other NBA team released a statement.

Now, the Knicks are finally joining the pack.

The Knicks statement:

This is not a particularly strong statement. But that’s not unique.

Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports:

However, the Knicks statement came late and weak. That is unique.


Will this statement satisfy anyone?

Plenty of people – myself included – felt no need to hear from professional basketball teams on these issues in the first place. (Hearing from individuals – including powerful people like Knicks owner James Dolan – is another matter.)

For those who wanted to hear from the Knicks, is this enough? Were similarly unimpactful statements from other teams enough just because those statements came earlier? The Knicks received unique backlash.

I find these statements more reflective than instructive. Society has changed. People more strongly want to fight racism and police brutality. NBA teams (distinguished from individual members of teams) aren’t leading the cause. They’re responding to a shifting middle. When they believed their customers didn’t want to hear about political and societal issues, teams remained quiet. Now that they believe their customers prefer to hear a stance, teams are releasing statements.

Even the Knicks.

More than anything, that shows just how far public opinion has advanced.