After getting pressured into speaking out against racism, the Knicks’ statement regarding protests was met with immediate backlash.
The NBA has constantly faced backlash over racial discrimination, whether it be microaggressions in the use of terms like ‘owner’ or more blatantly, Donald Sterling’s racist outburst. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been a change made but there’s still a long way to go, especially for the white-collar businessmen behind these teams.
Many sports organizations have stepped forward to denounce racism and police brutality with the exception of the New York Knicks. That is, until today. Jim Dolan did not immediately issue a statement with players from the Knicks reportedly disappointed in the move. Dolan apparently had plans to make the team look apolitical.
“As companies in the business of sports and entertainment… 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,” an internal memo rads.
Things changed this morning when the Knicks shared a statement nearly two weeks after the protest that barely scratched the surface on the issue. “Every one of us has a role to play in creating a more just and equal society, where there is no racism, bigotry, violence or hate. We stand with all who act for positive change,” the message reads.
It didn’t take long for fans to quickly pounce on them. Desus Nice tweeted, “DEFUND THE KNICKS” in response to the statement while others pointed out that they tried sidestepping “Black Lives Matter.”