NBA Hall of Famer Thomas maintains he is innocent of sex discrimination

Isiah Thomas in February 1, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Richard Clement/Files
Isiah Thomas in February 1, 2008 file photo.

Reuters/Richard Clement/Files

Isiah Thomas, an NBA Corridor of Famer who Was Once named president of the ladies’s National Basketball Affiliation’s the big apple Liberty regardless of a 2007 court docket ruling he sexually burdened a female colleague, maintained his innocence on Thursday and said he Was “proud of the man” he is lately.

A federal jury eight years ago discovered that Thomas, then show of the brand new York Knicks, made undesirable advances to team government Anucha Browne Sanders, and it ordered Madison Sq. Backyard and its chairman, James Dolan, to pay her $11.6 million in punitive damages for unfairly firing her after she complained about Thomas.

“I’ve all the time maintained my innocence,” Thomas advised newshounds on Thursday at the group’s training camp. “I’ve moved on from that. Our organization has moved on from that.

“I’m happy with the way I’ve lived my lifestyles and i am proud of the person that I stand right here today ahead of you.”

Several excessive-profile home abuse circumstances involving athletes during the last 12 months have led sports activities leagues in the us to take a 2nd have a look at how they treat girls’s concerns. Dolan’s transfer to name Thomas as the freedom’s president and provides him an ownership stake has raised some eyebrows.

Thomas, 54, who received two Nationwide Basketball Association championships as some extent guard with the Detroit Pistons earlier than retiring in 1994, Was Once Knicks president from 2003 to 2008 and beginning in 2006 additionally coached the group for two years.

He and Dolan met with Liberty players sooner than training camp opened on Sunday.

“It Was Once necessary to do it because we are living in a society where the guidelines that’s in the market, some’s correct, some’s no longer accurate,” Thomas mentioned. “We felt it Was Once vital to meet, talk about and have an open discussion board, let our avid gamers ask any questions after which give our side.”

Thomas, who Was Once never discovered individually liable in the Sanders discrimination case, mentioned the freedom gamers were “grown girls and they are able to make up their own minds and are available to their very own conclusions.”

The WNBA mentioned Thomas’ utility to develop into a part proprietor of the liberty Used To Be under evaluate. Madison Square Backyard owns the membership.

Thomas stated frank discussions about sexual discrimination had been a good thing.

“It has made our activity better, it has made our society better and it has made humanity higher as a result of it is out of the closet and we speak about it,” he said.

(Reporting by using Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing through Peter Cooney)

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