Charles Oakley’s defamation lawsuit against Knicks owner James Dolan tossed by Manhattan federal judge

Charles Oakley’s lawsuit against James Dolan was tossed on Wednesday after a federal judge ruled that the Knicks owner, as the landlord of the arena, had every right to kick the former player from Madison Square Garden. The suit stems from a Feb. 2017 incident where Dolan appeared to order security to remove Oakley from the arena. The ex-Knicks enforcer then got into a fight with the security team and video of the incident went viral.

“Oakley grossly misunderstands the law concerning a landlord’s right to remove a trespasser from its property,” Judge Richard Sullivan wrote. “The law is clear that the MSG defendants had the right to expel Oakley from the Garden and that his refusal to leave justified their use of reasonable force to remove him.”

Sullivan added that a believable legal claim was never produced and the whole thing had the stench of a public relations stunt from both sides.

The New York Daily News reports that Oakley is not done with his legal fight against Dolan.

“Charles is not one to give up. While we are disappointed with the ruling, it’s just the beginning of the fourth quarter and we are confident that we can turn this around with an appeal that we plan to file in the coming days,” Oakley’s attorney Doug Wigdor told the newspaper.

Dolan, meanwhile, is outwardly trying to appear as the man who is taking the high road in this situation, with talks of settling things down between the two men.

It’s worth noting that this statement comes from the same organization that accused Oakley of being an alcoholic during the immediate aftermath of this whole saga.

The entire dispute was based on a conflict of who actually started the whole fracas. The Knicks claim Oakley was the agitator, hence the implication of substance abuse, but Oakley denied any wrongdoing when asked about it at the time.

“I was there for four minutes. I didn’t say anything to him. I swear on my mother. They came over and wanted to know why I was sitting there. I bought the ticket. I said why do you guys keep staring at me. Then they asked me to leave. And I said I’m not leaving”

Dolan is no stranger to kicking people out of the Garden on a moment’s notice. He banned a teenager last month for yelling “sell the team” during an embarrassing loss against the Grizzlies, and less than a year ago, Dolan went viral for smugly going up to a fan and banning him for repeating that same mantra.

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