Footage surfaces of James Dolan appearing to order Charles Oakley ejection (vid)
Footage from a 2017 incident at Madison Square Garden involving Charles Oakley’s controversial ejection has surfaced in which New York Knicks owner appears to be seen authorizing the Knicks legend’s ouster.
The incident, which later inspired a civil lawsuit by Oakley that names Dolan, Madison Square Garden Company and MSG Sports & Entertainment as defendants, occurred on Feb. 8. Oakley was arrested and charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault and criminal trespassing following his ejection. Those charges were officially dropped in February.
Court papers filed Thursday by Oakley’s legal team and obtained by the New York Daily News points out how Dolan is seen on video talking with an MSG security staffer before Oakley’s ejection.
WATCH: Footage appears to show #Knicks owner James Dolan ordering MSG security guards to assault and violently eject former NBA All-Star Charles Oakley from @TheGarden. – via @NYDailyNews https://t.co/fklfNDABB4 pic.twitter.com/5ZtL2drY5p
— Wigdor Law (@WigdorLaw) May 24, 2018
“From the moment he takes his seat Mr. Oakley can be seen laughing and casually interacting with fans. Nowhere is there evidence that he was acting as belligerently as (Dolan and MSG) falsely claim,” papers submitted by Wigdor read.
“During a stoppage in play, Defendant Dolan can be seen summoning a security guard and speaking to him at length. … Within seconds of Defendant Dolan’s gesture, the security guard gathered other security personnel who proceeded to surround Mr. Oakley and throw him out of the Arena.”
Dolan, the papers allege, later is seen giving security a “thumbs up” once Oakley was removed from the arena.
Oakley’s attorney Douglas Wigdor submits the following in legitimizing the merits of the lawsuit.
“Our legal papers filed today make clear that this matter should be resolved by a jury while also shining a light on Dolan’s conduct that precipitated an event that could easily have been avoided if he had not signaled to his security team to remove Mr. Oakley for no legitimate reason and gleefully give a thumbs up after Mr. Oakley had been assaulted,” Wigdor said in a statement.
Oakley’s lawsuit seeks “an award of damages to be determined at trial by a jury to compensate Oakley for emotional distress and/or mental anguish, punitive damages, damages to Oakley’s reputation and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs,” per an ESPN report.