June 9, 2012
Sexual Harassment in Pro Sports
1. Do you think Ms. Brown Sanders had the basis for a Sexual Harassment suit? Why?
Based on the limited facts presented, I do not think Ms. Sanders had a basis for filing a sexual harassment case against the Madison Square Garden organization and Isiah Thomas. First, she stated that the sexual harassment went on for over two years. If it really happened and she complained to the organization in the beginning and they did not do anything about it, she should have come forth within three months. Based on her testimony and lack of witnesses, it seems that this was a retaliation of her getting fired.
2. From what you know of this case, do you think the jury arrived at the correct decision? If not, why not? If so, why?
I do not think the jury made the correct decision. There was not any recorded or written proof that the verbal abuse took place, there were no witnesses, and it seems that there was a lack of quality testimony. Based on the facts presented, I do not feel that Isiah Thomas committed verbal abuse and sexual harassment due to the lack of hard evidence.
3. Based on the few facts that you have, what steps could Garden management have taken to protect itself from liability in this matter?
The Garden management should have provided documented details on when, where, and how Ms. Sanders was negligent in her job functions. Their bland and general statement of “her performance had been subpar” was not convincing enough. Additionally, they could have done more research on Ms. Sander’s past and possibly dig up some character witnesses that could testify negatively against her.
4. Aside from the appeal, what would you do now if you were the Garden's top management?
I would be concerned about the reputation of the organization. First, I would gather some positive character witnesses on Isiah’s behalf and hold press conferences. Since Isiah was the...