A real marketing blunder

I’ll admit it. I can be somewhat blind when it comes to my sports fanaticism. I’ll root for my teams no matter what they do...

I’ll admit it. I can be somewhat blind when it comes to my sports fanaticism. I’ll root for my teams no matter what they do wrong – on or off the playing field. I am able to separate the enjoyment I garner from watching the games from any social judgment I may have about what a player on that team may have done when I’m not watching them from the stands.

But what’s transpiring in a Manhattan courtroom as I type this is really making me rethink things.

Anucha Browne Sanders, former marketing head at Madison Square Garden (MSG), is suing the company for $10 million for sexual harassment and retaliatory dismissal. She clams New York Knicks head coach and president Isiah Thomas made inappropriate sexual advances to her and called her a “bitch,” among other transgressions, and that she was then wrongfully terminated.
I won’t get into legal details here, but I want to note two very damning pieces of evidence – both shown on a video everyone could watch.

In one, Thomas says, “A white man calling a black female ‘bitch,’ that is wrong with me. I am not accepting that. That’s a problem for me.” But when asked if he’d have a problem with a black man calling a black woman “bitch,” Thomas said, “Not as much.”
In the second, MSG chairman James Dolan, when asked if using the word “bitch” was appropriate, said, “No, it is not appropriate... It’s also not appropriate to murder anyone. I don’t know if that’s happened here."

I love the Knicks. I don’t love the joke they’ve become on the court under Dolan and Thomas’ watch. But I can forgive that. What I have a harder time excusing is this duo’s arrogance and the outright carelessness of their comments.

We all need to let justice take its course before rushing to judgment on the case, but I will say this: In one very clear way, it really was a mistake for MSG to have fired this top-level marketing executive. It seems to me that Thomas and Dolan could use all the marketing and comms counsel they could get right now.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.