You know, how, after they do something stupid, insulting or insensitive (hello, Cleveland Cavaliers), they say stuff like, “I’m sorry you were insulted.” Basically, avoiding responsibility for what they did.
Sorta like what Dolan and Thomas are trying to do.
Anucha is havin’ no of it. Anucha Browne Sanders irked by Isiah Thomas’ ‘attempt to rewrite history’
“In an attempt to rewrite history, the Garden has issued a statement about Anucha Browne Sanders’ lawsuit against MSG, [MSG chairman James] Dolan and Thomas that is, at best, misleading and, at worst, a fabrication,” read the statement, which was released by Browne Sanders’ attorney, Anne Vladeck, and first reported by the New York Daily News.
In 2007, when Thomas was coaching the Knicks, Browne Sanders alleged that he sexually harassed her. Although Thomas maintained his innocence, a jury found that MSG, owner of the team, improperly fired her for complaining about the unwanted advances. The jury also ruled that Browne Sanders was entitled to $11.6 million in damages from MSG and Dolan.
A portion of the money ($6 million) was awarded for the hostile work environment created by Thomas. The rest of the money was awarded because Browne Sanders was found to have been fired for complaining about the environment.
Brown gets some support from Deadspin (!) with their piece:Listen To Sexual Harasser Isiah Thomas Lie About His Sexual Harassment
“When the jury had an opportunity to fine,” Thomas began. “They fined Madison Square Garden. I was not liable or personally held for anything. The jury found no findings.”
“Anyone who’s vetted this,” he went on, “has looked at it, has come out and found that—as the jury found—that there were no findings in terms of Isiah Thomas.”
Here is a thing that actually, inarguably happened. On October 6, 2007, a jury found that Isiah Thomas sexually harassed a New York Knicks executive, who was fired when she told Madison Square Garden, the organization that owns the Knicks, that Isiah Thomas sexually harassed her.
The “home town” Detroit Free Press chimes in:
That was awkward.
Isiah Thomas made the TV/radio rounds this morning and couldn’t understand why people didn’t want to talk about women’s basketball instead of asking about the irony of a guy once accused of sexual harassment being named president of a WNBA team, the New York Liberty.
Or why his buddy, Madison Square Garden CEO James Dolan, would rehire the guy many think wrecked his New York Knicks. Not to mention that Dolan and his company were hit with the tab for that harassment lawsuit, too.
When he first saw the news, Dan Patrick started his phone interview with Thomas, the Detroit Pistons legend, Patrick said he was shocked and thought it was a joke.
While the WNBA top brass ponder going up against megalomaniac Dolan (and, I’m thinking, ponder a world without the NY Liberty if they do), Christine Brennan adds to the all-but-universal chorus of “wtf” reaction: There’s no place for Isiah Thomas in WNBA
Mr. Dolan, with no evidence to back his claim (IsiahThomas doesn’t even understand how bad a Knicks GM he was), would beg to differ: Jim Dolan: Isiah Thomas can build a winner. Meanwhile, Slate says, Suspend James Dolan – The Knicks owner just hired sexual harasser Isiah Thomas as president of a WNBA team. Will the NBA do the right thing?
As it happens, the NBA has this week been given the chance to demonstrate that its decisions regarding league figures’ conduct are motivated by principles of decency rather than headlines and PR opportunism.
That chance has been provided by the blundering insensitivity and arrogance of New York Knicks owner James Dolan and his longtime ally, former Detroit Pistons star Isiah Thomas. In 2007, a jury found that Thomas, at the time employed as the Knicks’ coach and team president, had sexually harassed a Knicks executive (and accomplished former basketball player) named Anucha Browne Sanders. Browne Sanders had been terminated after complaining internally about Thomas, and the jury awarded her $11.6 million in punitive damages for the harassment and her firing. Dolan and the Madison Square Garden Company, which owns the Knicks and is controlled by Dolan, were found culpable in Browne Sanders’ mistreatment for firing her. MSG did not appeal the jury’s decision and subsequently settled its legal dispute with Browne Sanders for $11.5 million ahead of a scheduled hearing regarding compensatory damages. Thomas was relieved of his duties in 2008.