NY State Senator calls out 'petty' James Dolan for 'public meltdown'


After James Dolan appeared on Good Day New York and threatened to take away liquor sales from a future Rangers game in order to make a point to the New York State Liquor Authority, State Senator Brad Hoylman responded with some remarks of his own.

In an official response to Dolan’s comments, which included calling out Hoylman for his “Clean Slate” legislation during a political rant in which Dolan declared that the city had more important things to focus on than his controversial facial recognition software, Hoylman said that Dolan is “the poster child of privilege, as someone who inherited his wealth and receives an annual $43 million tax break from New Yorkers.”

“In his public meltdown on Fox 5 this morning, James Dolan showed why Albany should pass our legislation and close the “sporting event” loophole in our Civil Rights Law that allows Dolan to ban fans from Madison Square Garden using facial-recognition technology,” Hoylman said. “Simply because they work at law firms with clients he deems opposed to his financial interests.”

Dolan said he would “not at all” be backing down from his facial recognition usage, which was used to refuse entry to attorney Kelly Conlon last month at Radio City Music Hall because her firm was involved in a lawsuit against MSG. The technology is also reportedly used to flag Knicks fans that have been critical of Dolan’s ownership, though Dolan wasn’t asked about it in Thursday’s interview.

Still, he had plenty to say about Hoylman and the things he believes Hoylman should be focused on rather than forbidding Dolan’s use of facial recognition technology, and effort that the SLA has threatened as grounds for pulling MSG’s liquor license. In response, Dolan said he would halt liquor sales at a future Rangers game and instead hand out flyers with the face and contact information of SLA CEO Sharif Kabir, so fans could reach out to Kabir and express their disapproval of his “grandstanding and trying to get press.”

“New York shouldn’t allow petty tyrants to impose their warped fantasies on the public while reaping millions each year from taxpayer subsidies,” Hoylman said. “I’m grateful to both the New York State Attorney General and the Manhattan District Attorney for launching inquiries into Dolan’s vindictive business practices intended to silence his critics.”

Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1

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