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Spike Lee on Tuesday morning went on ESPN’s First Take to say he has no idea why he was harassed by Madison Square Garden security Monday night. The incident turned into something of a heated confrontation that ended up on social media.
Cell phone video taken at the New York Knicks game shows the Oscar-winning director being surrounded by a group of security in the hallway for apparently using the wrong entrance to MSG.
Lee can be heard yelling that he did nothing wrong; it’s the same entrance he has been using for decades. He then yells, “You wanna arrest me like [Charles] Oakley?!” (Oakley is a former NBA player who was thrown out of MSG in 2017 for yelling something disparaging at team owner James Dolan and allegedly getting into a scuffle with security. He was arrested.)
Lee said Tuesday on ESPN that he was finally allowed to go to his seat, which is when Dolan came to talk to him.
“I said, ‘I don’t want to talk about nothing!'” Lee said, adding that he should have been notified if the rules had been changed, especially since he has been paying so much for his season tickets for years.
“I’m being harassed by James Dolan. I don’t know why,” he said. Lee, arguably the most stalwart and recognizable Knicks fan, also said he will not go back to MSG for the remainder of the Knicks season.
In a statement, the Knicks pushed back against Lee’s narrative. “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,” a statement from the NBA team read.
The Knicks added, “It’s disappointing that Spike would create this false controversy to perpetuate drama. 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 agreed to last night when they shook hands.”
Watch a portion of his interview below.
— ESPN (@espn) March 3, 2020
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