James Dolan -- Tone Deaf

The above-posted is a link to an article that details Knicks' Governor James Dolan's cowardly and shameful public reaction to the murder of George Lloyd. In the article, Dolan not only fails to provide an organization-wide statement as every other NBA team has done, he instead asserts, "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." This is essentially Laura Ingraham's telling LeBron James, "Shut up and dribble."

I am a Nets fan. I have cheered for the team since the days of Kenny Anderson, Chris Morris, Derrick Coleman and Drazen Petrovic. I live and die as a fan with this team. In March 1996, I was blessed with the opportunity to move to and live in New York City. Part of the excitement included with that move was cheering for every New York related team. As a New York sports fan I followed with avid and rapt attention all of the teams. My favorite sport to watch was and still is basketball. I was thrilled when Patrick Ewing, John Starks and Charles Oakley led the Knicks to the 1999 finals and died a fans death when they lost. All this to say that I do not write this to troll the Knicks, their fans and certainly not their players.

I write this as an American black man who has endured the subtle and overt bigotry aimed at people who look like me. That yet another billionaire white male in a position of great privilege retreats into the void of "not my responsibility" is reprehensible. That such billionaire is prominent in the sport arguably most identified with American black men refuses to even stand up with the other members of the NBA fraternity to acknowledge the pain, anger and continuing legacy of second-class citizenship forced on American black men is despicable. That this "man" makes an ungodly amount of money off the bodies of American black men but cannot stand up for these men is beyond the pale.

I hope to goodness that I live long enough to see the day James Dolan is denuded of the New York Knicks franchise. I have not felt this way since Donald Sterling was removed from his ownership of the Clippers franchise. I do not say James Dolan is in the same category as Donald Sterling. That would be unfair to Dolan and hyperbolic. I will say that Dolan is the closest thing the NBA currently has within its ranks to Donald Sterling.