Madison Square Garden and New York Knicks owner James Dolan fired Madison Square Garden’s security chief this morning, reports DNAinfo, two days after Madison Square Garden security tussled with former Knick great Charles Oakley, which ultimately saw Oakley get arrested.
The Madison Square Garden Company hired Frank Benedetto as senior vice president for security in August, after he had spent over two decades in the Secret Service.
Oakley has had run-ins with MSG security over the years, pre-dating Benedetto’s arrival. By his account, any time he attends a game at the Garden, security lets Dolan know he is in the building, and watches him like a hawk. Via the New York Times:
Oakley added that he still attended three or four Knicks games every season, always paying his own way. And every time, he said, he would be watched by security personnel. He said that Dolan was behind their actions.
“Anytime I go into the Garden, they have to call him and tell him where I’m at,” he said. “They got to let him know, ‘Oakley is in the building.’”
He added: “It’s so disrespectful. I bought my tickets. And you’re going to tell someone he can’t walk around?”
It is unclear why exactly Benedetto has been fired, and the Knicks wouldn’t comment on it. James Dolan has never been one to back down when he thinks he is right—he let the Anucha Browne Sanders lawsuit embarrassingly go to trial instead of settling, and let his PR staff bleat out incredibly petty statements about the Oakley situation, among numerous other missteps. It seems unlikely that he thinks Garden security handled the situation incorrectly.
According to DNAinfo’s sources, Dolan “may take further action against other employees over the flap.” Unfortunately, it’s probably unlikely that Dolan takes further action against himself.