NEW YORK — An internal email was sent out to Madison Square Garden employees on Monday addressing the lack of a public statement regarding the outrage following the death of George Floyd.
“We know that some of you have asked about whether our company is going to make a public statement about the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer,” the email, which was obtained by ESPN, began. “I want you to know, I realize the importance of this issue. Therefore, I want you to understand our internal position.
“This is a turbulent time in our country. The coronavirus and civil unrest have taken their toll on our way of life. We at Madison Square Garden stand by our values of respect and peaceful workplace. We always will.
“As companies in the business of sports and entertainment, however, we are not any more qualified than anyone else to offer our opinion on social matters.”
The Knicks and the San Antonio Spurs were the only NBA teams to have not made public statements following Floyd’s death, as of 8:30 p.m. ET on Monday. Several NBA players — including Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. — have participated in protests that have erupted around the country. And Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has been a steady voice in recent years for social change, including in a recent interview with The Nation.
Floyd, who was black, died on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.
“What we say to each other matters,” the email said. “How we treat each other matters. And that’s what will get us through this difficult time.”