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Sunday, June 16, 2024
Law

MSG Draws Heat for Barring Opposing Lawyers from Knicks, Rangers Games

  • MSG Entertainment does not allow lawyers at firms with active litigation against the company to attend its events.
  • The New York Attorney General is concerned the policy violates civil rights laws.
Madison-Square-Garden
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Madison Square Garden Entertainment is under legal scrutiny for barring lawyers from New York Knicks and Rangers games.

MSG Entertainment, which operates the NBA and NHL teams’ home arena, among other venues and restaurants, has a policy denying access to lawyers who work for firms in active litigation against the company — sometimes using facial recognition technology to do so.

  • New York State Attorney General Letitia James wrote a letter to the company on Tuesday saying the policy may violate New York civil rights laws.
  • “Anyone with a ticket to an event should not be concerned that they may be wrongfully denied entry based on their appearance, and we’re urging MSG Entertainment to reverse this policy,” James said.
  • Lawyers earned a partial reprieve, allowing them entry with a valid ticket, but that doesn’t apply to sporting events — preventing lawyers of around 90 firms from attending Knicks and Rangers games.

On a separate matter, MSG Entertainment is also facing ire from shareholders concerned over its practice of rapidly deleting emails and records of fired employees.

Facing the Facts

MSG Entertainment responded to James’ letter through a spokesperson, saying the policy is not unlawful. 

“We are merely excluding a small percentage of lawyers only during active litigation,” they said. 

“Most importantly, to even suggest anyone is being excluded based on the protected classes identified in state and federal civil rights laws is ludicrous. Our policy has never applied to attorneys representing plaintiffs who allege sexual harassment or employment discrimination.”

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