Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Isiah Thomas found guilty of sexual harassment

Former Detroit Pistons star and current (for now) New York Knicks head coach Isiah Thomas has been convicted of sexual harassment. A jury today found that Thomas sexually harassed Anucha Browne Sanders, a former Knicks executive, and made unwanted sexual advances and directed verbal insults toward her.

The jury also ruled that Sanders will receive $11.6 million in punitive damages from the Knicks organization.

Both the Knicks and Thomas plan to appeal. Thomas, who grew up in south Chicago and went on to become one of the great point guards in NBA history, maintained his innocence.

Is Zeke guilty? I don’t know. One sports industry friend of mine, who has met and knows lots of people in the business, tells me that the general word on Thomas is that the megawatt smile we often see in public is just that—for the public. In other words, this friend says, Thomas is not a nice person and has a penchant for treating people with disrespect.

Of course, Thomas practically shot himself in the foot when he testified that though it wouldn’t offend as much if a black man used the term (a slang, derived for the word for a female dog, that I’d rather not post here) on a black woman, he thought it would be “highly offensive” if a white man did. I guess this means that while black men are entitled to disrespect black women, white men better not do it. Does this mean that white men can disrespect white women but that black men can’t?
(Photo courtesy of New York Daily News)

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