Connect with us

Sports

Ex-Knicks Exec Criticizes Garden for Hiring Thomas

Published

on

In this Oct. 2, 2007, file photo, then-New York Knicks President and coach Isiah Thomas exits Manhattan federal court following the jury decision in the sexual harassment lawsuit against him and Madison Square Garden in New York. The WNBA has been thrown into the national conversation about domestic violence and sports, and now is facing a decision involving sexual harassment.  The league is reviewing the hiring of Isiah Thomas _ once the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit _ as president of the New York Liberty, an announcement that caught the WNBA president off guard. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano, File)

In this Oct. 2, 2007, file photo, then-New York Knicks President and coach Isiah Thomas exits Manhattan federal court following the jury decision in the sexual harassment lawsuit against him and Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano, File)

MELISSA MURPHY, AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Not everyone is cheering the return of Isiah Thomas to Madison Square Garden.

Anucha Browne Sanders, who won a sexual harassment lawsuit against Thomas, the Garden and chairman Jim Dolan in 2007, and agreed to a settlement of $11.5 million, is criticizing the move.

On Thursday, she issued a statement through her lawyer Anne Vladeck, saying “those who do not learn from the past will be condemned to repeat it.”

Thomas, the former Knicks president and coach, was rehired this week by Dolan as president of the WNBA’s New York Liberty. Browne Sanders is a former Knicks executive and now the NCAA vice president for women’s basketball championships, who attended the Final Four in Tampa last month.

She added the Garden is attempting to “rewrite history” by issuing a statement this week that indicated what happened to her was simply “allegations” and unrelated to Thomas. She called the Garden statement “at best misleading and, at worst, a fabrication.”

The fallout after Tuesday’s announcement began almost immediately from commentators, women’s sports advocates and fans, who objected to Thomas running a women’s professional basketball team and the prospect of him becoming a part-owner of the Liberty with Dolan.

“Rehiring Thomas would be indicative of Dolan’s lack of respect for women and his insensitivity to the seriousness of sex discrimination in employment — something women face all too often,” said Donna Lopiano, the former women’s athletic director at Texas who specializes in Title IX and gender equity issues.

The Women’s Sports Foundation wrote an open letter Thursday to the WNBA Board of Governors, urging the 12 team owners not to approve Thomas as part-owner and to establish a clear policy on sexual harassment.

“Our reaction echoed the public’s overwhelming sentiment. We were shocked. We were puzzled,” the letter read.

The letter added that if Thomas becomes the Liberty president the message to young girls and women is that “sexual harassment — inexcusable behavior in any workplace — is not only tolerated but is instead rewarded with executive offices and big contracts.”

The Seattle Storm ownership group, comprised of three businesswomen, said they “believe there is no statute of limitations on the mandate that all WNBA owners and executives serve as exemplary role models and leaders.”

Owners Dawn Trudeau, Lisa Brummel and Ginny Gilder, added in a statement that “the sports world is finally beginning to address issues such as sexual harassment, domestic violence and sexual assault, all of which have been inadequately addressed for far too long. The WNBA belongs in a leadership role in addressing these sensitive issues.”

This week, Thomas attempted to downplay his role in the lawsuit, saying in interviews that the jury “found no findings” and he “was not liable.” The Garden also issued a statement saying “we did not believe the allegations then and we don’t believe them now” and “the jury did not find Isiah liable for punitive damages, confirming he did not act maliciously.”

That prompted Browne Sanders and her lawyer to respond.

“The Garden’s suggestion that the jury somehow exonerated Thomas by failing to award punitive damages against him is simply untrue,” the statement read. “To the contrary, six of seven jurors voted to assess punitive damages against Thomas personally. Had the defendants not settled after the verdict, Thomas would have had to face a retrial on that issue.”

The jury at the Federal District Court in Manhattan determined Browne was entitled to $11.6 million in punitive damages from the Garden and Dolan — $6 million the result of a hostile work environment created by Thomas and $5.6 million because Browne was improperly fired after telling her bosses. Dolan and MSG settled by paying $11.5 million.

Thomas had an unsuccessful run as the Knicks’ president from 2003-08, with the team reaching the NBA playoffs only once. He coached the Knicks from 2006-08 and went 56-108 before being fired.

“How can (ex-Clippers owner Donald) Sterling be rejected for his racist remarks and Thomas be embraced?” Lopiano said. “Women matter. Sexual violence, sexual harassment, lack of respect, all of these things matter.”

Lopiano said the WNBA Board of Governors should reject Thomas’ attempt to become a part-owner of the Liberty.

“Such decisions reflect the values of the Board of Governors,” Lopiano said. “I would think that both the WNBA and the NBA would disagree with Dolan on such a move.”

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bay Area

Parade Planned to Honor Historic Pinole Valley High School Football Season

The Spartans football team captured its first ever state title last fall, defeating Mendota High 34-21 in the Division 7-AA California State Championship. The victory marks the first time a West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) school has earned a high school state football title.

Published

on

Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.
Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

By Mike Kinney

A parade is being planned to celebrate the Pinole Valley High School football team’s historic championship season, Principal Kibby Kleiman said. School officials are considering holding the parade on Feb. 4, 2023, although an official date has not yet been confirmed.

Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

The parade will start at the Pinole Valley Park and will proceed to the Pinole Valley High School football field. The high school’s marching band, cheerleading squad and color guard will participate, along with clubs and service organizations connected to the school.

“It will almost be like a mini homecoming event,” Kleiman said.

The Spartans football team captured its first ever state title last fall, defeating Mendota High 34-21 in the Division 7-AA California State Championship. The victory marks the first time a West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) school has earned a high school state football title.

Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

The Spartans earned their bid to play in the state championship after defeating Justin-Siena (Napa) 7-0 on Nov. 25, 2022, capturing their first North Coast Section title in 43 years.

Kleiman noted the team will also be recognized in a ceremony at Pinole City Council in February.

“We could not be prouder of the level of support coming from the community and the school,” he said. “It is wonderful to feel valued and honored. We are extremely proud of our Spartan football team!”

Continue Reading

Bay Area

City Council Committee Hears Report on Economic Impact of Oakland A’s Howard Terminal Proposal

Outgoing Mayor Libby Schaaf’s administrative team argues that an economic analysis of the impact of the Oakland A’s $20 billion real estate development at the Port of Oakland is impossible to analyze until behind-closed-door negotiations between City staff and A’s owner John Fisher’s team are completed, and there is a final deal.

Published

on

John Fisher, Oakland A’s owner and real estate developer
John Fisher, Oakland A’s owner and real estate developer

Report says A’s proposal “underestimates” costs and “overestimates” revenue projections

By Post Staff

Dr. Nola Agha, a nationally recognized sports economist and University of San Francisco professor of Sport Management, this week presented findings of her study on the revenues, costs, and economic impacts of the A’s proposed development at Howard Terminal to the Oakland City Council’s Community & Economic Development (CED) Committee.

Agha’s independent study was commissioned when the city failed to provide the independent economic analysis of the project’s proposed development agreement and financing framework requested by City Council in April.

Agha’s report at Tuesday’s CED meeting was based on information about the proposal available to the public, provided by the Oakland A’s, Oakland City Administrator Ed Reiskin, and the City Council’s July 2021 non-binding term sheet, and includes updated projections based on the current economic forecast.

Outgoing Mayor Libby Schaaf’s administrative team argues that an economic analysis of the impact of the Oakland A’s $20 billion real estate development at the Port of Oakland is impossible to analyze until behind-closed-door negotiations between City staff and A’s owner John Fisher’s team are completed, and there is a final deal.

The danger, however, is that once a final deal is completed, there would likely be a rush to pass it without looking at the details and economic analysis behind it.

The report was commissioned by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, which has significant concerns about the impact the proposed project would have on the survivability of the Oakland Port.

The report focused on three primary concerns with the A’ proposal:

  • Revenue projections are overestimated;
  • Direct cost projections are underestimated;
  • Indirect, unanticipated, and often inconspicuous costs have not been accounted for.

Summarizing her findings,  Agha said, “Both the team and the City have made a lot of assumptions in designing the financing framework for this project, all of which put the City and taxpayers at greater risk down the line.

“A close look at the available information reveals that the project requires a historically large and growing public subsidy to be financially feasible. Publicly funded stadiums typically don’t pay off, and this one is unlikely to be any different.”

To read the full report, go to: https://assets.nationbuilder.com/oaklandstadiumalliance/pages/109/attachments/original/1664404798/Evaluation_of_the_revenues_costs_and_impacts_of_Howard_Terminal_-_Sept_21_2022.pdf?1664404798

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

Jack Nicklaus Once Again Surprises Military Veterans with a Golf Lesson in Honor of Veterans Day and the PGA National Day of HOPE

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The PGA of America reaches out to Veterans, they reach out to all different people,” explained Jack Nicklaus, who is the only sportsman and just the fourth person in history to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2005), the Congressional Gold Medal (2015) and the Lincoln Medal (2018). “It is a great organization. PGA HOPE is impactful on its own, but they also collaborate with other organizations, such as partnering with Folds of Honor for Patriot Golf Days.

Published

on

Jack Nicklaus coaches PGA HOPE Veteran, Homer Watts, during the Jack Nicklaus PGA HOPE Veterans Lessons at the Bear’s Club on November 7, 2022 in Jupiter, FL. (Photo by Sarah Kenney/PGA of America)
Jack Nicklaus coaches PGA HOPE Veteran, Homer Watts, during the Jack Nicklaus PGA HOPE Veterans Lessons at the Bear’s Club on November 7, 2022 in Jupiter, FL. (Photo by Sarah Kenney/PGA of America)

Special to NNPA Newswire

Imagine being invited to play a round of golf at Jack Nicklaus’ Florida home club and getting a surprise lesson from none other than the 18-time major champion himself.

For the third straight year, Nicklaus gave some hometown military heroes who participate in the South Florida PGA Section PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program a memory for a lifetime at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Florida.

In celebration of both Veterans Day and the PGA National Day of HOPE, Nicklaus thanked the playing group of Veterans for their service and shared instructional tips, before inviting them out as his guests for a day on the championship golf course that he designed and is played regularly by up to 30 PGA TOUR pros who are members.

As the military pillar of PGA REACH, PGA HOPE is designed to introduce golf to Veterans and Active-Duty Military to enhance their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being.

PGA REACH and PGA HOPE aspire to create a physically and emotionally healthier Veteran community through a six- to eight-week curriculum led by PGA Professionals trained in adaptive golf and military cultural competency.

U.S. Army Veteran First Lt. (Ret.) Robert Truckenmiller received a Purple Heart after being shot in the Vietnam War.

Other than hearing from other Veterans from time to time, he said that when he got a call from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) inviting him to take part in the PGA HOPE program, it was the first real “welcome home” feeling he ever received for his service.

“The PGA of America reaches out to Veterans, they reach out to all different people,” explained Nicklaus, who is the only sportsman and just the fourth person in history to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2005), the Congressional Gold Medal (2015) and the Lincoln Medal (2018).

“It is a great organization. PGA HOPE is impactful on its own, but they also collaborate with other organizations, such as partnering with Folds of Honor for Patriot Golf Days.

“I have great admiration and respect for the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country’s freedom, and try to get behind efforts to help our Veterans, as well as their families. For me to do my little part—even to a small group—I am delighted to do so, especially for the PGA HOPE program.”

PGA HOPE has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the VA, which enables Recreational Therapists to refer Veterans to PGA HOPE as a form of therapy.

Truckenmiller was quite surprised when Nicklaus stepped out on the driving range.

“I’m a little bit awestruck,” said Truckenmiller.

“He’s probably the best golfer ever, and he was most gracious. He helped me with my putting, on lining my ball up, and to stop moving my head. He told me to stare at it when I hit it.

“I lost my wife of 54 years three months ago. This is a remedy for some of the loneliness.”

U.S. Air Force Sgt. (Ret.) Pamela Carter, of Wellington, Florida, lost her brother, Bruce, in the Vietnam War. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously, and the VA Medical Center in Miami is named after him.

When Nicklaus approached Pamela and gave her a lesson, she quickly reached in her pocket and handed him a challenge coin with her brother’s photo on it.

“I was just shocked he was here,” said Carter. “I stumbled on PGA HOPE and signed up for it. Meeting true war heroes who are now being respected puts a new spin on it. PGA HOPE reaches out and makes us feel welcome.”

U.S. Army/Air Force Reserves Sgt. (Ret.) Homer Watts Jr. had the thrill of a lifetime.

“Oh my goodness,” Watts said. “He’s a legend. It was a total shock. I was very surprised. PGA HOPE is such an amazing program. It gets people out of the hospital and into other activities. You meet great instructors who take their time with you. It’s almost like family. Actually, it’s just like family.”

Joining them for instruction and the round of golf was 2022 South Florida PGA Section Patriot Award recipient Jerry Impellittiere, PGA Director of Instruction at Monarch Country Club in Palm City.

Impellittiere originally learned the game from PGA Professionals at West Point Golf Course and now pays it forward by teaching two PGA HOPE Programs.

He is known as “The Collector,” as he collects donated golf clubs to give to Veterans for them to learn and play the game. Ironically, Impellittiere once played in a grouping with Nicklaus and Dave Stockton at the B.C. Open, two players renowned for their putting.

“I didn’t make the cut, but I led the PGA TOUR in putting stats that year,” said Impellittiere.

Nicklaus has a long-held fondness for the nation’s military and the incredible sacrifices made by service members.

“These people have earned the help of all Americans,” said Nicklaus. “I enjoy doing this. I want to be a part of it, especially if it makes a difference. I am very honored.”

This year, PGA HOPE aims to impact the lives of over 7,500 Veterans through its transformational program led by PGA Professionals, and has set a goal of 36,000 annually by 2026.

In its sixth year, PGA National Day of HOPE is a month-long campaign running through Veterans Day. The campaign celebrates our nation’s heroes who protect our freedom, while raising awareness and support for PGA HOPE.

To support the 2022 National Day of HOPE Campaign, please visit the Official Fundraising Page.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending