Knicks owner James Dolan reportedly issued an internal memo to Madison Square Garden employees on Monday, defending the company's decision not to issue a statement on the death of George Floyd.
"We know that some of you have asked about whether our company is going to make a public statement. ...The coronavirus and civil unrest have taken their toll on our way of life. We at Madison Square Garden stand by our values of respect and peaceful workplace. We always will," Dolan wrote in the memo obtained by ESPN. "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."
Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. Police officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd's neck for over eight minutes outside a convenience store, and video of the incident features Floyd saying "I can't breathe," numerous times.
Dolan's Knicks and the Spurs are the only two teams to not issue a statement on Floyd's death as of Monday night. Multiple New York players have participated in protests across the country in recent days, including guard Dennis Smith Jr.
Dolan began his tenure as the Knicks owner in 1999. New York has not posted a winning record since 2012-13, and it has not reached the conference finals in the 21st century.