Friday, January 27, 2006

Support for Anucha Browne Sanders

Hard to find on the sports pages, but here's a little:

Jon Heyman in Newsday:

Thomas speaks, says nothing

The Knicks' spin machine is suggesting she wasn't a great employee now, after previously telling us she was a "rising star" (Garden honcho Steve Mills' words, Advertising Age, 2002). The real word back at the Garden is that she's both "professional and not approachable," a characterization that could easily fit what a Northwestern basketball teammate told Newsday. (A disclaimer: I attended Northwestern at the same time as Browne Sanders but did not know her.)


Thomas and his Garden people are trying to paint Browne Sanders as a gold digger. I am unmoved. What they offered [reportedly, $250,000, one year's salary] was not a good trade for her if she's telling the truth. Last week she was a respected executive, the NBA's third-highest ranking female, behind the Lakers' Jeannie Buss and the Wizards' Susan O'Malley. Today, she is unemployed and fighting a famous, powerful, (usually) persuasive man and his PR machine.

Andrew Peyser in the New York Post:


Thomas said he ignored advice to keep his mouth shut. He wanted to speak publicly so he might "look all of you in the eye" and deny the charges, said his lawyer, Peter Parcher.

But Thomas looked at the table. Out the window - anywhere except in my eye as he refuted charges he told a woman executive that he loved her, wanted to have sex with her, and finally, fired her.


Spiel done, Thomas sped out of the room. Earlier, Thomas' accuser, Anucha Browne Sanders, also spoke to the media.

I have no idea if she's telling the truth. But when I met her afterward, she looked me in the eye - though she's a 6-foot-1 giantess, and I'm a 5-foot-3 shrimp.

"It's outrageous," she told me, as lawyers tensed.

"Outrageous." Then she let out a bitter laugh.

"I complained, and they fired me. It's a crazy time," she said, explaining the laugh.

Are we being used in an extortion plot?

It goes with the script that Thomas' camp reached instantly for an ulterior motive, rather than deal with the charges. They changed the subject.

I can't imagine why one of the highest-ranking women in all of professional sports would toss away her career, make herself a target, in the hope of winning a few bucks.

But that's me.

This has just begun.

Selena Roberts at the New York Times also writes in support of Browne Sanders, but her article is behind the subscription wall. A quote* from her article: "What transpired between Browne Sanders and Thomas isn't known as fact. But many elements of her complaint square with the Garden's history of hubris and male privilege."

Previous post: Color Me Not Surprised


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