Fairly or not, that became a notable stance. Every other NBA team released a statement.
Now, the Knicks are finally joining the pack.
The Knicks statement:
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) June 9, 2020
This is not a particularly strong statement. But that’s not unique.
Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports:
28 NBA teams issued official statements
5,485 total words were written
5 total appearances of the word "police"
2 total public mentions of "police brutality"
My video essay on what was written and more importantly, what was not: pic.twitter.com/86oIvPhBUS
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 4, 2020
However, the Knicks statement came late and weak. That is unique.
The most recent 5 statements from NBA ownership/teams and whether they mentioned "police" or "police brutality":
Knicks 🟥 https://t.co/L0X2GvlOq7
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 9, 2020
Will this statement satisfy anyone?
Plenty of people – myself included – felt no need to hear from professional basketball teams on these issues in the first place. (Hearing from individuals – including powerful people like Knicks owner James Dolan – is another matter.)
For those who wanted to hear from the Knicks, is this enough? Were similarly unimpactful statements from other teams enough just because those statements came earlier? The Knicks received unique backlash.
I find these statements more reflective than instructive. Society has changed. People more strongly want to fight racism and police brutality. NBA teams (distinguished from individual members of teams) aren’t leading the cause. They’re responding to a shifting middle. When they believed their customers didn’t want to hear about political and societal issues, teams remained quiet. Now that they believe their customers prefer to hear a stance, teams are releasing statements.
Even the Knicks.
More than anything, that shows just how far public opinion has advanced.