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James Dolan threatens beer ban at Madison Square Garden



Image for article titled In the case of James Dolan v. lawyers, New York fans are the losers



Image: AP



During a year in which both the New York Knicks and Rangers are competitive and probably playoff-bound, James Dolan can’t keep from sticking his fat face in the news. If you missed it, the embattled owner is determined to continue using facial recognition software in his never-ending fight against attorneys suing him, even if it means banning beer sales at a Rangers game, per an interview with a local Fox affiliate.

“At Madison Square Garden, if you’re suing us, we’re just asking of you — please don’t come until you’re done with your argument with us,” Dolan said. “And yes, we’re using facial recognition to enforce that.”

The most recent tête-à-tête went public because the New York State Liquor Authority, according to Dolan, threatened to revoke Madison Square Garden’s alcohol license over the “adverse attorney policy.”

In what is definitely a pattern of illogical behavior, Dolan responded by threatening… Rangers’ fans?

“(The state liquor authority is) doing this for publicity so we’re going to give them some publicity,” Dolan said. “In response to their threats, we could pick a night, and shut down all the alcohol in the building. We know our fans would be disappointed.”

I think New Yorkers would be a little more than disappointed if — in addition to everything else Dolan does that adversely affects their happiness — they have to deal with the repercussions of his ongoing legal spats. I know “Dry January” is a thing, but “Dry January” night isn’t in the rotation with Bobblehead or Star Wars nights.

Forget that the Knicks beat the Boston Celtics in overtime Thursday, or that it seems like the team didn’t colossally screw up recent free agent signings or draft picks. Everything must revolve around Dolan’s petty squabbles. I imagine being a New York hoops or hockey fan in 2023 is like waking up to great weather, a good breakfast, and a promising start to the workday only to have someone remind you that you’re terminally ill.

Why is facial recognition technology controversial?

We’ve all watched a Jason Bourne movie and seen CIA lackeys behind computers track Matt Damon’s bone structure in crowds of thousands with pristine accuracy. However, that’s in the movies, and the real world doesn’t work like that. Motorized vehicles don’t explode when they glance off each other, and that futuristic facial recognition tech isn’t great at identifying people of color. Black people are already profiled enough as is, and they don’t need some algorithm making matters worse.

Also, if you’re wondering what kind of company Dolan is keeping in implementing the use of this sort of tech, it’s police, China (allegedly), and “over 3,100 US agencies,” including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. So, pretty much every organization that people constantly accuse of invading our privacy. At least the CIA and police departments have the excuse of public safety. What’s Dolan’s reasoning if not vanity?

I don’t know how you get to “threatening a self-imposed beer ban” from “using facial recognition technology to keep the lawyers out.” But only James Dolan. It’s the thought process of an absolute soul-sucking lunatic that no one understands (probably not even James, and definitely not his therapist).

So, umm, yeah, Bing-Bong and all that.


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