SBD/March 6, 2014/Franchises

Knicks Fans Planning Rally To Protest James Dolan's Handling Of Franchise

Fans are upset at some of the moves Dolan made, including rehiring Steve Mills
A rally to "protest" Knicks Owner James Dolan’s "handling of the sinking franchise" is scheduled for March 19 in front of MSG before the team hosts the Pacers, according to Marc Berman of the N.Y. POST. The organizers in a statement wrote the rally is being staged because of "Dolan’s failure to allow knowledgeable basketball people the autonomy/power to make basketball related decisions." The statement also takes issue with "the rehiring of Steve Mills who has never been in the GM role before and presided over one of the most embarrassing eras in Knick history." The statement in conclusion reads, "We want to remind Dolan and the NBA that our voices matter. We buy the tickets, the jerseys, the NBA League Pass subscriptions. We are frustrated. We are tired. We deserve better" (NY POST.com, 3/5). YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Devine wrote there "isn't an awful lot that Knicks fans can do to meaningfully change the fortunes of this year's team." But what they "can do is commiserate, kvetch and make a public stink about the rotten state of affairs at MSG under the leadership" of Dolan. The "public embarrassment of fans gathering to won't compel Dolan to change course on anything, obviously, but it might bum him out a little and maybe make his day a bit worse." Devine: "This, friends, is what Knicks fans have to hold onto right now." The only "truly effective way for disgruntled Knicks fans to display their dismay with Dolan is to hit him where it hurts, in the wallet, by refusing to patronize his cable company, pay for tickets to games at the Garden, purchase Knicks merchandise and generally spend any money on the product he's producing until he changes the way he produces it" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/5).

DOOMED TO FAIL? FS1's Gary Payton said of the protest, "Knicks fans, be real! ... You always say, 'Well, we pay your salary.' No you don’t. That owner that you're trying to get out and do this to, he's the owner. He's going to make the decisions regardless of you being there or not. And you know what, You're still going to be there. You're still going to buy tickets! So stop it, you're not going to change anything. Just hope for the best" ("Fox Sports Live," FS1, 3/6). The N.Y. Daily News' Bob Raissman said, "You know what, don’t bother. This guy will not listen to anybody. If you protest his reign at the Garden, it's only going to make him get his back up and he's going to go against you. That's his style. He's had the media down his throat for years and it hasn't changed anything. I applaud you for the idea, but it won't work" ("Daily News Live," SNY, 3/5).
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