MSG CEO James Dolan has 'meltdown' about facial recognition criticism, vows to keep scanning opponents

MSG CEO James Dolan has ‘meltdown’ about facial recognition criticism, vows to keep scanning opponents

Madison Sq. Backyard boss James Dolan vowed to proceed utilizing facial recognition expertise to blacklist his company adversaries, dismissing the efforts of state lawmakers to cease the observe as an unconstitutional waste of time.

In a rambling and defiant interview on Fox 5 on Thursday, Dolan lashed out at his myriad critics, railed in opposition to bail reform, and threatened to withhold booze at a future sporting occasion if state regulators don’t drop their opposition to his surveillance observe.

“Our values are important to us, too. The Garden has to defend itself,” he stated. “People say you’re too sensitive, you shouldn’t defend yourself, it’s something out of ‘The Godfather,’” he continued, earlier than invoking the well-known Michael Corleone quote: “It’s not personal, it’s strictly business.”

Dolan has come underneath fireplace for his use of the surveillance expertise to take away attorneys working for legislation companies with lively litigation in opposition to MSG Leisure, a holding firm he runs that additionally oversees Radio Metropolis Music Corridor and the Beacon Theatre.

In a single extremely publicized case, a mom chaperoning her daughter’s Lady Scout troop was faraway from a Christmas Spectacular efficiency after cameras matched her face with a database of images of attorneys working for banned companies.

However as he faces public indignation, lawsuits, state laws and an inquiry from New York Legal professional Common Letitia James, Dolan is digging in and doubling down on his grudges, as he has usually accomplished up to now.

On Thursday, he previewed an escalation with the State Liquor Authority, which has threatened to revoke his proper to promote alcohol if he doesn’t reverse the controversial coverage.

“They’re being extremely aggressive, and they’re saying ‘we’re going to take away your liquor license,’ so I have a little surprise,” Dolan stated. “We’re going to pick a night, maybe a Rangers game, and we’re going to shut down all the liquor and alcohol in the building.”

He then held up a sheet of paper that includes the face and telephone variety of SLA Chairman Sharif Kabir, which he stated he would flow into to followers in the course of the booze-free night time.

“In the United States, there’s a thing called the Bill of Rights,” he stated. “This is just about owning property.”

Inquiries to the SLA weren’t instantly returned.

Dolan, who has not spoken straight to the press for years, additionally addressed the potential of Madison Sq. Backyard shedding its profitable tax break, brushing it off as an unlikely transfer by the state Legislature. “Of course they don’t want to do that,” he stated.

He went on to accuse the lawmakers who’ve challenged him of ignoring bigger points he says are plaguing the town, akin to bail reform and excessive taxes.

“What really needs to happen is the public needs to tell these politicians and the SLA to start working on things that matter to us,” he stated. “Like law enforcement. Making it safe in our streets. Getting our taxes in line. Stop people from leaving New York and ruining our city.”

State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, whose district contains Madison Sq. Backyard and who launched laws limiting facial recognition expertise, stated the interview was unsurprising, given the “petty and vindictive behavior that we’ve all come to expect from Dolan.”

“We’re witnessing the meltdown of one of New York City’s most notorious billionaires,” he added.

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