NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Women’s Sports Foundation is not pleased that, earlier this month, Isiah Thomas was named president and part owner of the WNBA’s New York Liberty.
The foundation is so opposed to the hiring, in fact, that it launched a change.org petition on Thursday in an effort to keep Thomas from having ownership.
The petition is asking the WNBA Board of Governors to take action.
The controversial Thomas was formerly the Knicks’ head coach and president of basketball operations. In 2007, former Knicks executive Anucha Browne Sanders accused the Basketball Hall of Famer of sexually harassing her. She was ultimately fired, and a jury ruled that Sanders was improperly let go by the Knicks.
A settlement was eventually reached, and Sanders received $11.5 million. Thomas was not found to be liable.
The Women’s Sports Foundation writes, among other things:
“Every day, young girls across the country hone their skills in hopes of one day scoring the winning basket on a college court or in the WNBA Championships. The WNBA’s message to those girls if Mr. Thomas is approved as part-owner of the New York Liberty is that sexual harassment – inexcusable behavior in any other workplace – is not only tolerated but is instead rewarded at the WNBA.
“When Donald Sterling was found making disparaging racial comments, he was banned from professional basketball for the rest of his life. The same rules must apply to sexual misconduct and the WNBA.”
Thomas’ part ownership of the team is currently pending approval from the league.
The New York Daily News reported last week that Knicks president Phil Jackson is miffed that owner James Dolan hired Thomas.