Knicks Owner Explains Silence on Death of George Floyd


James Dolan is sticking to sports.

The Knicks owner reportedly circulated an internal memo on Monday explaining why his companies were officially neutral on the death of George Floyd and the subsequent civil unrest.

The memo, published by Pablo Torre of ESPN, was apparently prompted by Knicks players and employees who were "furious" over Dolan's silence on the issue.

"We know that some of you have asked about whether our company is going to make a statement about the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer," the memo said.

Dolan acknowledged the importance of the topic but said it was better left unaddressed.

"We are not any more qualified than any one else to offer an opinion on social matters."

The Knicks and Spurs were the only NBA teams not to have issued a statement about Floyd, Torre reported, but Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich gave a lengthy interview on the subject that was published on Monday.

The Floyd case, combined with massive unemployment and the coronavirus crisis, has fueled an eruption of social tensions in the US. Essentially all sectors of social and economic life have been thrown into flux, with sports being no exception.

The charged situation has put leagues, executives, stars and journalists in the  position of publicly taking stances on topics they don't often discuss, and in most cases would rather not have to.

"What's important is how we operate," Dolan's memo said, citing the importance of mutual respect.