A group of New York Knicks fans have launched an effort to force the sale of the team after owner James Dolan sent a nasty email to a fan.
Four men have started an effort to have the Knicks sold out from under Dolan. The group announced the goal of raising $20,000 in order to place a billboard outside Madison Square Garden to urge Knicks fans to pressure the sale.
The effort is led by brothers Jason and Jared Koeppel, the same pair who started the campaign to engineer New York Jets general manager John Idzik’s ouster. After a losing season, the Jets fired Idzik in December.
The brothers launched the campaign after Dolan sent a sharply worded email to a fan who was critical of the team’s bad record. In the note, Dolan told the fan, “I’ll bet your life is a mess and you are a hateful mess.”
Dolan continued saying, “What have you done that anyone would consider positive or nice. I am betting nothing. In fact ill bet you are negative force in everyone who comes in contact with you. You most likely have made your family miserable. Alcoholic maybe. I just celebrated my 21 year anniversary of sobriety. You should try it. Maybe it will help you become a person that folks would like to have around. In the mean while start rooting for the Nets because the Knicks don’t want you.”
It was the last straw for the Koeppel brothers.
“It was the ‘Idzik news conference moment.’ That’s what we called it–when we decided that management and ownership had gone too far and it was time for the fans to do something,” Jason said.
The brothers, though, are not over estimating their impact.
“Just like we didn’t think that Woody Johnson was gonna go outside Route 3 [near MetLife Stadium] and look at a billboard and fire his general manager, we certainly don’t think that James Dolan is gonna look at a billboard on 30th and Seventh and say, ‘Hey, maybe you know what? I should sell the Knicks,'” Jason Koeppel said.
Dolan’s intemperate email just adds to fans’ annoyance with the Knicks. New York’s 10-42 record make the Knicks the worst team in the league. A recent Yahoo! Sports piece noted that the Knicks have lost a franchise-worst 16 straight games and 26 of their past 27. “There is no reason for optimism,” Yahoo! claimed.
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