Charles Oakley’s lawsuit against Madison Square Garden and James Dolan has been dismissed.
Manhattan Federal Judge Richard Sullivan rejected the charge, saying that the New York Knicks icon was not mainly the victim upon the forced removal that happened to him in Madison Square Garden way back in 2017.
Knicks owner Dolan ordered the MSG security to escort Oakley out, and Sullivan blamed the former cager on how things got complicated in the situation.
“(T)he video footage conclusively shows the MSG guards giving Oakley ample opportunity to leave the arena; the same video also shows that Oakley ignored the guards’ entreaties and repeated attempts to direct him toward the exit,” the judge wrote. “In fact, the video reveals that it was Oakley who unilaterally escalated the confrontation, leading to his eventual forcible removal.”
The judge further pointed out that Dolan’s decision to remove Oakley was insignificant, since MSG can declare any ticket holders out upon unnecessary actions.
“And the undisputed video evidence conclusively demonstrates that the Garden’s security guards did not use excessive force as they escorted Oakley from the arena,” Sullivan wrote. “… Oakley’s previously offered versions of the events are ‘so blatantly contradicted by the (video) record … that no reasonable jury could believe (them).'”
Oakley was handcuffed and forcibly removed by dozens of security and police officers in the Knicks’ duel against the Los Angeles Clippers in 2017.
He has a stained relationship with the team and Dolan, criticizing the franchise’s incompetent practices from the past.
Oakley was a solid cager and bruiser during his playing days who managed to suit up a Knicks uniform in 10 seasons from 1988-1989 to 1997-1998. Known for his physicality and hard-nosed approach in the 90s era, he is a prominent figure among New York supporters.