Al Sharpton Calls for Boycott of Knicks

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From, New York local public radio:

Al Sharpton is vowing to lead protests against Madison Square Garden, unless Knicks coach Isiah Thomas apologizes for suggesting that blacks and whites should be held to different standards when it comes to using derogatory terms for women.

In a deposition introduced at his sexual harassment trial, Thomas said he doesn’t accept a white man calling a black woman the “b-word.” But he added that he wouldn’t be as upset if the same words came from a black man.

Sharpton says his organization will stage picket lines around the Garden during Knicks home games unless Thomas apologizes — or proves he did not make the comments. Sharpton said Thomas phoned him yesterday, to say his words had been misinterpreted because the videotape had been “spliced.”

Yesterday the New York Times reported:

Sharpton said that if the tape was not incorrectly spliced, Thomas had to apologize. If Thomas does not, Sharpton said that his organization, the National Action Network, would picket Knicks games.

“I told Mr. Thomas that our position had nothing to do with the person using the language,”Sharpton .”We cannot have double standards for sexism and racism.”

Thomas’s camp sent to Sharpton by e-mail a portion of his trial testimony in which he said that”it is never acceptable”in any way to use the word.

Sharpton said Thomas told him yesterday that he would not apologize for”something I didn’t say.”Sharpton said he told him that”if there was a misunderstanding or if it was misconstrued, we can talk about that.”

The full transcript of the public radio report is here.   The full NYT story is here.

-Bridget Crawford

This entry was posted in Feminism and Culture, Sociolinguistics. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Al Sharpton Calls for Boycott of Knicks

  1. Ralph M. Stein says:

    I suspect that Thomas is more of a liability to the Knicks than an asset at this point.

    I’m not a basketball fan but I don’t see the logic of a demonstration at Madison Square Garden based on the alleged comments of a team’s manager at a deposition. Clearly the NBA rejects racist and sexist behavior. And the verdict against Thomas speaks for itself.