The New York Knicks have struck back against filmmaker Spike Lee, telling him he is not a victim after he complained about stadium access.
Lee recently complained that the team was somehow disrespecting him over how he entered the arena to attend games.
The director had developed a habit of using the arena’s employee entrance to enter the arena to watch games. But last weekend, a security guard confronted Lee about using that restricted access. Lee was turned away from the entrance and told not to try to use it again.
The exchange was posted on social media. In the video, Lee is heard screaming at the security guards that “no one told me” not to use the special entrance, and then he is heard getting belligerent with the security officials.
“I’m staying right here,” he yells at the officers:
— BroTalkLive (@BroTalkLivePod) March 3, 2020
After the video got out, the Knicks said that the entrance is not supposed to be used by fans but is, instead, supposed to be for team staffers and other employees.
Lee met with Knicks’ Owner James Dolan to smooth things over, but it appears that Lee was not mollified, TMZ reported.
The Do the Right Thing director later went off on the team’s management during a visit to ESPN. “I wasn’t shaking hands. In fact, when he came over to me, I didn’t get up right away, I was just sitting in my seat,” Lee told the sports network.
“I said, ‘Mr. Dolan, I’ve been coming for 28 years,” Lee continued. “Why wasn’t I notified? By email, text, phone.’ He says, ‘now you know.’ Now you know?! It’s too late!!!’
“I’m being harassed by James Dolan. I don’t know why,” he said adding that he pays $300,000 a year to attend games at his leisure. “I look stupid now.”
— ESPN (@espn) March 3, 2020
But the team struck back, telling Lee he is not a victim in this situation.
The team released a statement on social media:
“The idea that Spike Lee is a victim because we have repeatedly asked him to not use our employee entrance and instead use a dedicated VIP entrance — which is used by every other celebrity who enters The Garden — is laughable,” the team said.
“He is welcome to come to The Garden anytime via the VIP or general entrance; just not through our employee entrance, which is what he and Jim [Dolan] agreed to last night when they shook hands,” the statement concluded.
New York Knicks Statement on Spike Lee pic.twitter.com/19JcvhFKO7
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) March 3, 2020
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