The New York Knicks received major backlash for their delay in addressing the death of George Floyd and police brutality in America. The team stayed silent for two weeks amid nationwide protests, and when they finally broke their silence, no mention of Floyd or Black Lives Matter was made. “Every one of us has a role to play in creating a more just and equal society where there is no racism, bigotry, violence, or hate. We stand with all who act for positive change,” the statement read.
Some speculate the reason for the late and vague message stems from Knicks owner James Dolan’s major donations to Trump. A leaked internal memo sent from Dolan to players and other employees, revealed more about his stance, “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.”
Life-long Knicks fan Kazeem Famuyide spoke with ‘Sports Illustrated’ and says he can no longer support the team after this, calling it “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” ” There’s no both sides here. So the fact that they took this long to respond and when they did, it was the most vanilla, most nondescript, and went through so many lyrical gymnastics to not say Black Lives Matter and not mention George Floyd, not mention the victims, to not talk about exactly why this is so important in America’s history. I, along with many other people, have had it. Like, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Because at the end of the day, I always said, I’m a black man before anything. I love the Knicks. I’ve always loved the Knicks. But this is definitely to me and to a lot of fans like me, the straw that broke the camel’s back…I’m done with them. I can’t. I can’t morally, in my heart of hearts, condone what they stand for anymore.”