Last week, Isiah Thomas was hired as the president of the WNBA’s New York Liberty. Thomas is a 12-time NBA All-Star and one of the fifty greatest players in NBA history. But, in 2007 he was found guilty of sexually harassing a fellow New York Knicks executive, Anucha Browne Sanders. After Thomas and the New York Knicks lost the civil sexual harassment lawsuit, Sanders received $11.5 million. The New York Knicks also own the Women’s NBA Liberty and their principal owner James Dolan remains the same from the time of the alleged harassment.
Upon the announcement of Thomas’ hiring, Sanders issued a statement through her lawyer, “those who do not learn from the past will be condemned to repeat it.” Sanders isn’t the only one who objects to Thomas’ hiring, women’s sports advocates and fans are also displeased. They believe that this decision sends a message to young girls and women everywhere; that sexual harassment is not only excusable but also rewardable.
The incident is being compared to the Donald Sterling case. Critics claim that Sterling’s racial remarks were condemned yet Thomas’ sexual harassment history seems to have no affect on his career. Instead, Thomas was given the prospect of becoming part owner of the Liberty with Dolan.
What do you think about someone who was found guilty of sexual harassing a woman running an women’s basketball team? Should Thomas be given a second chance?