NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — Madison Square Garden has reportedly banned its employees and businesses from working with the New York-based sports radio station WFAN and its parent company Entercom after one of its DJs criticized James Dolan on-air.
According to the New York Post, Knicks and Rangers players and coaches and MSG announcers are barred from appearing on the station until further notice.
The dispute began in August when WFAN afternoon host Maggie Gray lambasted Dolan on air, calling him a “vile piece of trash” among other epithets. The diatribe was apparently sparked by a song released by Dolan and his band JD and the Straight Shot, called “I Should’ve Known,” which seemed to address Dolan’s long friendship with disgraced Hollywood studio exec and accused sexual predator Harvey Weinstein.
In particular, Gray was incensed by Dolan’s apparent hypocrisy in the song in the wake of former MSG exec Anucha Browne Sanders’s successful sexual harassment lawsuit against MSG and New York Knicks general manager Isiah Thomas in 2006. Gray also took issue with Isiah Thomas’s remaining President of Basketball Operations despite the suit.
According to Billboard, the MSG ban on Entercom-related businesses may extend beyond WFAN. Billboard reported that MSG has notified several Entercom-owned radio stations that they are barred from staging events at MSG-owned properties. While a majority of MSG’s venues, such as the Wang Theatre in Boston and the Beacon Theatre in New York are on the East Coast, the company does oversee the Forum in Los Angeles, and the Chicago Theatre in Chi-town as well.
According to the Post, Gray subsequently issued an on-air apology for the personal nature of her on-air attack but did not back away from the main thesis of her criticism.
In a statement to the New York Post, MSG spokeswoman Kim Kerns said: “Entercom aired a hate-filled rant directed towards MSG, its employees and its Executive Chairman in August of this year. They chose to take no action to remedy this until the start of this season.
“Only after learning they would not receive special access to players and coaches did they elect to offer an insincere half-hearted apology. We wish them no ill will. However, we decline to carry on a business relationship. We will continue to afford Entercom league-mandated access only.”
Kerns did not address how Mr. Dolan’s use of his company’s assets to penalize a radio station and its employees relates to his fiduciary duties to MSG’s shareholders.