James Dolan: Critical fans don't need to worry about being banned from MSG


James Dolan told Fox 5 on Thursday that he is “not at all” backing down from the facial recognition technology he is using in buildings he owns, including MSG, to refuse entry to attorneys that have active lawsuits against him or his companies.

There have been reports that Dolan has implemented a similar system at The Garden to forbid or restrict entry to certain high-profile fans that have been critical of his tenure as Knicks and Rangers owner, leading some to be concerned that they could be banned for being critical of their teams.

Asked about that possibility while in studio with Carton and Roberts on Friday, Dolan said fans shouldn’t worry about that, so long as they don’t cross a line.

“Basically no, except if you become confrontational,” Dolan told Craig and Evan. “Confrontational with other fans, with the staff, with the ownership.
You really have to be confrontational, not just say, ‘I don’t like you.’ it generally involves some profanity.

“The guy up in the stands, we don’t know if we’re gonna hear him, but if we do, so what. But the guy who works his way down to the floor and while I’m leaving starts confronting me, he’s gonna go. that guy’s there to pick a fight.
Same thing with the players. you can sit there and yell ‘Make your free throws!’ But if you start becoming personal with them...”

So, should fans worry about not being allowed in MSG again if they voice their displeasure with Dolan or the Knicks while at a game?

“No, even if you come down and get in my face and say ‘Your team sucks, do a better job,’ I’m gonna say, ‘We will next game. Come again,’” Dolan said. “That’s not going to happen. Only the ones who have come down and gotten right into your face. They stepped over the line. We certainly understand fans getting emotional. That’s part of the game.”

Dolan has appeared to be reactionary in the past towards criticisms about his ownership, particularly of the Knicks, but he told Craig and Evan he understands the nature of the industry, and the passion of the Knicks fanbase, and can handle criticism as long as it doesn’t go too far.

“You read the papers. There are people who are critical of us all the time. We don’t ban them,” Dolan said. “We don’t say that they can’t come. A lot of times they’re doing their job if they’re reporters, but social media, you’re talking about thousands of people. That’s not what we’re doing.”

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