It is bitter sweet to write about the recent jury verdict of New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas and the sexual harassment case involving former top team executive, Browne Sanders. The jury agreed with Ms. Sanders that Isiah Thomas and Madison Square Garden were guilty of Sexual Harassment charges. I grew up as an avid Basketball fan, enjoying watching the likes of Isiah Thomas, Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson, Magic Johnson and Kevin Mchale. I remember watching these great guys on the television play the greatest basketball. I recall even meeting some of them when they were here in Miami to play the Miami Heat. You place them on such a pedestal and are crushed when they are accused of such things as the sexual harassment as Isiah Thomas has been found guilty of today by the New York Jury. It makes you realize that even great people can make mistakes and do things that they will come to regret.
The jury will now determine the punitive damages for Madison Square Garden. They will determine how much money to award the Plaintiff, Browne Sanders. The Plaintiff requested $10 million in punitive damages, while at MSG she was paid $260,000. Her claims of sexism, nepotism and crass language as the norm at MSG is despicable if this actually happened. At no time and under no circumstances is sexual harassment acceptable, even among jocks.
I am saddened that someone like Isiah Thomas would be accused of such a crime. But if he is guilty, he is not above the law and should be punished accordingly. That goes for MSG also. I do not necessarily agree with the legal counsel for Isiah Thomas when he said: "Punishment for the sake of punishment is not what this is all about". The punishment for this and every other crime is about sending a message to the guilty party that is reasonable and just for the crime at hand.
All eyes are on the New York Jury to see what they come back with for punitive damages for MSG. Stay tuned...
To read more on the case, click here for ABC News, Fox Sports,