Look, if you record and release a mournful ballad about how you didn’t know your buddy ol’ pal Harvey Weinstein was also an entitled creep who sexually harassed and assaulted numerous women over a span of decades, you need to accept that you’re opening yourself up to some criticism. And if the song is called “I Should’ve Known” and includes the tortured lyrics: “We were friends we were friends/talked for hours without end/about his latest story/how the deal was fame and glory/all the girls who were doting/catered to his every whim/nothing he could lose/all he need to do was choose,” a completely reasonable reaction to that song would be: What the fuck??
And if you, the man who wrote and recorded that song and then released it to the general public, were also the owner of a massive sports conglomerate with its own huge and public $11.6 million sexual harassment settlement in the not-too-distant past, you’d have to be an absolute dope to think that no one would call out your musical self-flagellation as, at the very least, hypocritical moaning.
The moaning hypocrite and absolute dope in question here is New York Knicks owner and Madison Square Garden CEO James Dolan, who released “I Should’ve Known” in August. WFAN host Maggie Gray called Dolan out for both the tone of his song and the fact that his company sued by and subsequently settled with Anucha Browne Sanders, a former MSG executive who was fired after she spoke out about former Knicks coach Isiah Thomas’s sexual advances. (Dolan later put Thomas in charge of the New York Liberty, the WNBA team he owns.) Because of Gray’s mean but not inaccurate remarks, Dolan has reportedly banned anyone related to his businesses, including Knicks and Rangers players, from appearing on any Entercom-owned radio stations, including WFAN. Here’s what Gray said in August, via the New York Post:
“I can’t believe James Dolan thinks that we’re this stupid,” Gray said. “I can’t believe it took 11 years—11 years, is that how long it’s been since the Anucha Browne Sanders case? Excuse me?! Somebody who can’t even understand or admit what happened in his own building now has some B.S. song about how he should have known about Harvey Weinstein?
“How about what the hell was going on in your own building? How about a sexual harassment case that you had to settle for $11.6 million against The Garden? Give me a break, James Dolan. You are just such a hypocrite.”
“You are a vile piece of trash,” Gray said about the 63-year-old Dolan. “You let Isiah Thomas call this woman the b-word so many times she sued your ass, and she won! And then what did you do? In 2015, you brought Isiah Thomas back into the building to run the Liberty of the WNBA. You are a human embodiment of an online troll. People on Twitter couldn’t even come up with something that stupid …
“I might never get back into The Garden, even with a press pass, after this, and I don’t give a crap. I’d rather not step into that building that’s owned by this hypocrite and this disgusting, disgusting human. Yeah, you should have known. You did know. I forgot for 30 seconds just how embarrassing James Dolan is. Never again. Take your stupid song and everything you stand for, and shove it up your colossal rear end. I’m done with the Knicks.”
Dolan, 63, has apparently been stewing about those few minutes of midday sports radio for months, waiting for just the right moment to exact his exceedingly trifling revenge. The Post wrote:
Dolan’s MSG has ordered all of its businesses across the country to shut down working with Entercom and banned Knicks and Rangers players, as well as MSG broadcasters and personnel, from appearing on the station, according to officials involved in the decision.
Though Gray apologized for her on-air name-calling last week, she didn’t apologize for the content of what she said. People generally do not apologize for saying true things. Petty-ass Dolan, however, was out for blood. MSG spokeswoman Kim Kerns told the Post:
“Entercom aired a hate-filled rant directed towards MSG, its employees and its Executive Chairman in August of this year. They chose to take no action to remedy this until the start of this season. Only after learning they would not receive special access to players and coaches did they elect to offer an insincere half-hearted apology. We wish them no ill will. However, we decline to carry on a business relationship. We will continue to afford Entercom league-mandated access only.”
That Dolan cultivated this lame grudge for months instead of just letting it go (or listening to what Gray had to say) is a perfect and perfectly ridiculous embodiment of how entitled, wealth-addled people process the world.