Madison Square Garden Company chairman James Dolan, who owns the NBA's New York Knicks and NHL's New York Rangers, issued a second email to his employees Tuesday defending the lack of a public statement regarding George Floyd's death in police custody.
Dolan's email reads as follows, courtesy of SNY's Ian Begley:
Yesterday, I made a sincere attempt to provide my perspective on a very difficult issue, one that has no easy answers. I know how important this topic is to so many and I do not want there to be any confusion about where I as an individual, or we as a company stand. So let me be clear: we vehemently condemn and reject racism against anyone, period. It is against every value that we hold dear.
My point yesterday was about actions, and the importance of living your values. At Madison Square Garden, we have worked hard to build an environment of inclusion and mutual respect and those are the values that we try to live every day. Racism is born of ignorance and it's up to each of us to understand that the person working beside you is your equal without regard to color, or any of the other qualities that make us diverse. And any injustice to one person is an injustice to everyone.
This is how we at MSG fight racism. We start with ourselves, and through our actions, we define who we are. That is how we can be an example to the wider world. That was the point of my message yesterday.
I am proud of the environment you have created here. I know that this is a difficult time, and that we will always need to communicate with one another on the hard issues. I will continue to do as much as I can to help make our community even better. I know you will also.
Dolan issued on Monday an internal memo to employees, which attempted to explain why the company and its teams have remained silent.
"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," he wrote.
The Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, and Atlanta Hawks are the only three NBA teams that have yet to release a public statement amid growing protests across North America in the fight against racial injustice.
However, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich criticized President Donald Trump on Monday for a lack of leadership during the widespread unrest, and the Hawks shared an interview with head coach Lloyd Pierce, during which he spoke about living in fear as a black man in the U.S.
Knicks players and employees are "furious" that the team hasn't issued a public statement, leading to a meeting Tuesday without Dolan to discuss his internal communications, reports Pablo S. Torre of ESPN.
In the NHL, only the Rangers and Ottawa Senators have not issued their own statements. The Senators, however, did retweet a message from center Chris Tierney that cited "an inequitable society that enables systemic racism."