Posted by Emily at 4:43 PM
Sexual Harrassment and MSG
A jury has just found Isiah Thomas liable in the sexual harrassment case brought against him by former Knicks executive, Anucha Browne Sanders.
Some background from MSNBC on the case:
The former Northwestern college basketball star characterized Thomas as a foul-mouthed lout who initially berated her as a “bitch” and a “ho” before his anger gave way to ardor, with Thomas making unwanted advances and encouraging her to visit him “off site.”
The case, from its inception, proved a public relations disaster for the Knicks and the Garden, with intense coverage of the three-week trial focusing on its tawdriest aspects — star guard Stephon Marbury having sex with an intern outside a strip club, raunchy come-ons from a Marbury cousin to his Garden co-workers, Thomas’ videotaped remarks about the racial dynamics of calling a woman “a bitch.”
Racial dynamics of calling a woman a bitch, by the way. This editorial from Newsweek clarifies what racial dynamics of the word birth mean:
But Thomas’s protestations of innocence were likely sabotaged in the jury’s eyes by a remarkable videotaped deposition in which Thomas explained that while it was “highly offensive” for a white male to call a black female “a bitch,” it wasn’t quite as bad when a black male did it.
Even if you agree that "bitch" has different connotations and implications depending on the race (and gender) of the speaker, we've got recognize that "bitch" is never a word appropriate for a professional situation.
This is apparently my big sports day. Whee ...
(and I say all this with full disclosure that I love the word "bitch" and that I use it far too frequently. But not in professional situations)