Charles Oakley banned from Madison Square Garden
Ban comes after former Knicks star was ejected from game following incident involving team owner.
NEW YORK—Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan banned Charles Oakley from the arena Friday, though said he was open to reconciling with the former Knicks forward.
In an interview with ESPN Radio’s Michael Kay, Dolan also confirmed a report that he had fired the Garden’s security chief, two nights after Oakley was forcefully removed from his seat and arrested at a Knicks game. Dolan said the firing of the security head stemmed from more than just the handling of the incident.
The Knicks said Oakley was “abusive” Wednesday even before reaching his seats in the first quarter, and on Friday distributed a witness report featuring more than a dozen witnesses who described his behaviour and their interactions with him.
Dolan said Oakley even used racial and sexual overtones and that games must remain safe for fans, so he was enforcing the ban.
“We are going to put the ban in place and hopefully it won’t be forever,” Dolan said.
He praised Oakley as a great Knick and said he hoped that the power forward would be able to join his former teammates to be honoured on the court someday.
But he said Oakley first must address what he characterized as anger issues.
“He should be up there being recognized because the fans do love him,” Dolan said. “But this behaviour just doesn’t work with that.”
“That was just a situation where the person didn’t work out and this was probably the last straw,” Dolan said. “We’re obviously looking at everything that we did here along the way and what happened, and that’s one of the casualties.”