New York Knicks to host Juneteenth Youth Symposium

Allan Houston, New York Knicks (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
Allan Houston, New York Knicks (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks will host a panel to recognize the national day commemorating the end of slavery.

The New York Knicks are proving actions speak louder than words. After facing sharp criticism for their delayed public statement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, the team is putting racism front-and-center by hosting a youth symposium in celebration of Juneteenth, the national day commemorating the end of slavery.

On June 18, the Knicks and Rangers, as part of their parent company Madison Square Garden Sports, will host a webinar on Zoom, focusing on the power of sports to bring people together, resolve conflicts, and educate.

"“By sharing their experiences, trading advice, and speaking to the broader cultural environment of the moment, our panelists will reinforce sports’ valuable role in society,” the Webinar registration description reads."

The panel will be moderated by former Knicks player and current team executive Allan Houston. Knicks general manager Scott Perry, Rangers alum Anson Carter, New York State Senator of the 36th district Jamaal Bailey, and chief marketing officer of the NHL Heidi Browning will participate on the panel.

The event was not publicized by Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks have a strong record of hiring African Americans in key roles within their organization.

Owner James Dolan was widely criticized in the media and by his own employees for failing to issue a statement condemning racism and police brutality after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by white police officers in Minnesota. The Knicks and Rangers became two of the last major U.S. professional sports teams to publicly comment on the social injustices leading to the death.

Whether they should have issued a statement from a public relations standpoint or not, the Knicks have an impressive record of inclusion in their hiring practices. Last season, they became the first team in NBA history to have a black president (Steve Mills), general manager (Scott Perry), and head coach (David Fizdale).

New York has hired several minorities in roles throughout the organization from assistant general manager to director of player personnel. Madison Square Garden’s charitable foundation, the Garden of Dreams, also does work to help minorities in the community.