Surprising nobody but Madison Square Garden officials themselves, a jury just found Isiah Thomas and the Knicks organization (part of MSG) guilty of the sexual harassment of Anucha Brown Sanders. After weeks of embarrassing revelations and accusations, the jury decided that Thomas should not have to pay punitive damages, but that MSG and its head honcho, Jimmy Dolan, should. No numbers have been announced just yet, but after just about everyone from Dolan down revealed stunningly archaic attitudes about race and gender in the workplace, we're guessing Browne Sanders's compensation will be pricey enough to shock them into the new century. Or, at the very least, it'll prevent them from wasting any more money on expensive players who don't win titles. It's a victory for everyone!
Sexual Harassment at the Garden [NYT]
Earlier:Our Knicks Coverage
So it appears the jury in the Isiah Thomas sexual-harassment suit plans to side with Anucha Browne Sanders. A note from the panel to the judge yesterday said they were deadlocked over whether to make the Knicks coach pony up for punitive damages, as apparently there is a lone holdout who thinks he needs to save his money for more fancy ties. (We bet we know who that is.) Having deliberated overnight, they're expected to come out with a verdict today (or the Knicks will finally settle). In the meantime, the Daily News' Jane Ridley is in a reflective mood, and today, she offers up more of her particular brand of Confucian wisdom: "Justice is not like a basketball court," she cautions. "Tides are rarely turned by a single flashy play or a lucky catch." That’s so Jane!
Just when you thought their sexual-harassment trial couldn't get any more damaging for the Knicks, they shoot themselves in the foot. In a taped deposition by Madison Square Garden head honcho Jimmy Dolan, shown yesterday in court, the burly boss explained that plaintiff Anucha Browne Sanders was fired because she made sexual-harassment charges. And incidentally, at the Garden, it's not harassment to use the N-word to describe a black person (this was revealed by aging exec Rusty McCormack. Andrea Peyser, back on her game since yesterday, describes McCormack as having "the complexion the approximate shade of ripe cheese.") Of course, the question blaring from every news outlet is "Why are they still in this trial? Settle already!" The answer is simpler than you think.
In a bizarre twist (as though there have been any twists that weren't bizarre) in the Isiah Thomas sexual harassment trial, the Post reports that a Knicks intern who succumbed to Stephon Marbury in the back of a car has agreed to testify for the defense. In other words, she's going to clear Marbury of any wrongdoing or inappropriate behavior (except, you know, cheating on his wife). This is an effort to clear up the impression that lawyers for plaintiff Anucha Browne Sanders are trying to create, which is that the Knicks enterprise is macho and sexist. But just as they try to staunch that wound, another one has sprung open. The Daily News reveals that Browne Sanders unearthed a Burn Book written by Madison Square Garden officials describing what they'd like to do to the comely Rangers ice dancers. And we're not talking about assisting with a double-hand lift. It boggles the mind why the Knicks haven't settled yet. This circus of sleaze is only going to get worse, and knowing this city's tabloids, it's only a matter of time before the team gets rechristened "The New York Dickerbockers."
Stephon's Hoop Skirt to Testify [NYP]
Ice-Skate Shocker Has 'Em Shivering [NYDN]