NEW YORK CITY — Brooklyn's borough president has asked Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan to reverse his decision to ban Charles Oakley from the venue, likening the scuffle between the Knicks legend and Garden security to “Eric Garner without the chokehold.”
At a press conference outside the arena Sunday, Eric Adams took issue with the way in which the clash “escalated.”
“Anytime you have a player who gave his heart and soul to the team and the city, to be treated in that fashion sends a chilling impact,” Adams said.
“I saw this as Eric Garner without the chokehold.
“There’s no reason to have a person like Mr. Oakley, who’s representative of the athletes who participated in building a legacy of the New York Knicks, to be banned from Madison Square Garden,” Adams added.
Dolan, who fired the Garden’s top security chief after the Feb. 8 incident, claimed he banned Oakley from the venue for safety reasons, calling the former Knicks player “both physically and verbally abusive," and saying he may have a drinking problem.
But Oakley, who was arrested and charged with three misdemeanors following the incident, maintains Dolan has a personal vendetta against him.
Adams on Sunday said Oakley should not have been arrested and asked that the charges against him be dropped.
“An assault charge is an assault where someone was injured,” he said.
“I know what I saw, and now I want the… information that would lead to why Mr. Oakley should be banned.”
The politician plans to meet with Dolan on Monday to discuss the incident.