Knicks great Charles Oakley has filed a defamation suit against team owner James Dolan and the franchise, stemming from his arrest during a Feb. 8 game at Madison Square Garden.

Oakley, 53, was forcibly removed from the arena on Dolan’s orders.

The longtime fan favorite alleges that Dolan attempted to “publicly embarrass him on live television.”

Per the AP:

Former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley sued the team’s owners Tuesday, saying he was defamed when they claimed he committed assault and was an alcoholic after his February arrest at a game.

 

The lawsuit says that long before the game, Dolan had “constantly disrespected” Oakley, refusing to make eye contact or shake his hand during meetings, denying him fan appreciation nights and making him pay for his own tickets to games.

 

The lawsuit blames Dolan for Oakley’s removal from the game, saying Oakley “was treated like a common criminal” after Dolan directed security to “forcibly remove Mr. Oakley from the Garden and publicly embarrass him on live television.”

 

“As if their public mistreatment of Mr. Oakley was not embarrassing and shameful enough, over the ensuing days defendants Dolan and (Madison Square Garden) launched a coordinated and defamatory public relations campaign against Mr. Oakley, baselessly accusing him of abusing fans and staff, acting inappropriately and struggling with alcoholism,” according to the lawsuit.

 

The Madison Square Garden Co. called the lawsuit “frivolous” and “nothing more than another attempt by Mr. Oakley to garner attention. We will deal with this accordingly.”

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