While the Knicks are one of only two NBA teams that have not released statements about George Floyd’s police related death, their players have been active.
Knicks 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 on Sunday: “Honestly, I needed a few days to really process everything that is happening! #GeorgeFloyd was a Houston native and a former high school student. These actions are necessary! Justice is necessary! Watching that video is very disturbing I’m here to defend what is right! “
Dotson, 26, attended Yates High School, where Floyd graduated in 1993. Classmates gathered for a Sunday vigil in Houston for Floyd. Dotson also retweeted several other quotes, including from the account of Martin Luther King Jr.’s son, Martin Luther King III: “As my father explained during his lifetime, mutiny is the language of what is not heard.”
People close to Dotson said the Knicks never contacted him during the week.
The Knicks were criticized on Monday night for remaining silent on the matter with an ESPN report that some players are “furious.” The Post reported that some Knicks employees were disappointed and an email from owner James Dolan appeared explaining their decision.
On Tuesday, after team employees held a virtual meeting on Dolan’s email on ESPN, the Knicks appeared to be trying to make amends. Your Instagram account supported BlackOut Tuesday movement.
Dolan stated that “he realized the importance of the problem” and added that “however, we are not more qualified than anyone to offer our opinion on social issues.”
Former Knicks star Larry Johnson, who works in the club’s alumni relations department, showed up. support Dolan with a tweet:
“The statement by James Dolan and MSG has some truth. As a Blackman and an MSG employee, it is our responsibility to defend our Black Brother. DO YOURSELF!
And the players have.
Dennis Smith Jr. was photographed at a protest rally in North Carolina With his rapper friend J. Cole, and other Knicks like Julius Randle, Kevin Knox and Taj Gibson have tweeted Floyd’s outrage.
“Fear of the world in which I have to raise my son today”, Randle shared on instagram next to a picture of Floyd. “There are not many words to describe. What has been happening? I only know that I am hurt and heartbroken and it is TIME FOR A CHANGE. “
Knox wrote #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd Featuring 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 policeman 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’ main office is Craig Robinson, Barack Obama’s brother-in-law, but he is expected to leave the organization when his contract expires in August.
Dolan’s history of hiring at the African American care office is extensive. In 2018-19 and early 2019-20, they had a black coach at David Fizdale and their top five office executives were black: Steve Mills, Scott Perry, Robinson, Harold Ellis, and Gerald Madkins.