The San Antonio Spurs and the New York Knicks are the only two NBA franchises not to give a formal statement on the death of George Floyd and the protests that have rocked cities around the country in the days since (though Spurs coach Gregg Popovich did have some choice words for the president in an interview published on Monday).
This is reportedly something that has drawn the ire of players on the Knicks' roster, as well as employees of the franchise.
On Monday, ESPN's Pablo Torre claimed to have obtained an email that Knicks team owner James Dolan had sent out to Madison Square Garden employees in which he defended the organization's decision to not put out such a statement.
In that defense he acknowledged calls to issue a public acknowledgment but said that, as an entertainment business, they weren't qualified to issue an opinion on "social matters."
Read in full, it said:
“We know that some of you have asked about whether our company is going to make a public statement about the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. I want you to know, I realize the importance of this issue. Therefore, I want you to understand our internal position.
“This is a turbulent time in our country. The coronavirus and civil unrest have taken their toll on our way of life. We at Madison Square Garden stand by our values of a respectful and peaceful workplace. We always will.
“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. 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. What we say to each other matters. How we treat each other matters. And that’s what will get us through this difficult time.”