Knicks follow their players’ lead with BlackOut Tuesday post
While the Knicks are one of two NBA teams that haven’t released statements on George Floyd’s police-related death, their players have been active.
Knicks shooting guard Damyean Dotson has been the most vocal on social media, revealing a personal connection to Floyd as they both attended the same Houston high school.
Dotson tweeted Sunday: “Honestly I needed a few days to really process everything that’s going on! #GeorgeFloyd was a Houston native and a alumni at my high school. These actions are necessary! Justice is necessary! Watching that video is very disturbing! I’m here to stand up for what’s right!”
Dotson, 26, attended Yates High School, where Floyd graduated in 1993. Classmates rallied for a vigil Sunday in Houston for Floyd. Dotson also retweeted several other quotations, including from the account of Martin Luther King Jr.’s son, Martin Luther King III: “As my father explained during his lifetime, a riot is the language of the unheard.”
People close to Dotson said the Knicks never reached out to him across the week.
The Knicks came under criticism Monday night for being silent on the issue with an ESPN report stating some players are “furious.” The Post reported some Knicks employees were disappointed and an email from owner James Dolan surfaced explaining his decision.
On Tuesday, after team employees held a virtual meeting regarding the Dolan email per ESPN, the Knicks appeared to attempt to make amends. Their Instagram account supported the BlackOut Tuesday movement.
Dolan stated he “realized the importance of the issue,” adding “however we are not any more qualified than anyone else to offer our opinion on social matters.”
Former Knicks star Larry Johnson, who works in the club’s alumni relations department, appeared to support Dolan with a tweet:
“The statement put out by James Dolan and MSG has some truth in it. As a Blackman and employee of MSG it is our responsibility to stand up for our Black Brother. DO FOR SELF!”
And the players have.
Dennis Smith Jr. was photographed at a North Carolina protest rally with his rapper friend J. Cole, and other Knicks such as Julius Randle, Kevin Knox and Taj Gibson have tweeted Floyd outrage.
“Scared of the world I have to raise my son in today,” Randle shared on Instagram alongside an image of Floyd. “Not many words to describe. What’s been going. I just know I’m hurt and heartbroken and it’s TIME FOR A CHANGE.’’
Knox wrote #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd with photos of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem on Instagram.
Gibson retweeted a Baron Davis post “Privilege is a bitch” with a video of a cop fighting a protester with the officer being thrown to the ground.
Of the 17 players on the Knicks roster, including their two two-way players, only Lithuanian-Canadian rookie Ignas Brazdeikis is white. In the Knicks’ front office is Craig Robinson, who is Barack Obama’s brother-in-law but expected to leave the organization when his contract expires in August.
Dolan’s history of African-American front-office hires is extensive. In 2018-19 and start of 2019-20, they had a black coach in David Fizdale and their top five front-office executives were black – Steve Mills, Scott Perry, Robinson, Harold Ellis and Gerald Madkins.
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