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New York Rangers Learn From Knicks, Settle With Fired Cheerleader....

There's a well-known phenomenon in organizations that impacts how future risk is viewed.  Once an organization takes a very specific path on an issue or a strategy and then has that approach blow up in their face in a very public way, they learn from the experience.  That usually means they pledge never to make the same decision again.  At least, not in public.

Enter the New York Rangers from the NHL (professional hockey to all of you that don't get the Vs. channel).    They had a sexual harassment claim that was pending since 2004, and they were widely reported to be prepping it for trial.

A funny thing happened on the way to the courthouse.  The parent company got DRILLED in another Rangers_cheerleadersharassment lawsuit. 

The Rangers are owned by Madison Square Garden, the same corporate entity that brought us the car wreck that was the Knicks/Isiah Thomas Sexual Harassment Trial, featuring the coach of the Knicks pontificating that race plays a role in whether derogatory references to women are OK or not, and the point guard for the Knicks hooking up with a company intern outside of a "gentleman's club" (among other highlights).

Madison Square Garden thought that one was good for trial.  Thousands of negative articles and a $11.5M finding for the plaintiff later, they're taking a different approach to harassment cases with lots of nastiness involved.

It's called seeking settlement or, based on your reading of what's been reported, exercising prudent judgment.

Details of the harassment charges against the Rangers from the NY Daily News:

"Courtney Prince (former captain for the Ranger's cheerleading squad, known as the Rangers City Skaters) filed suit in 2004, claiming the Garden was a virtual frathouse where male executives treated cheerleaders like sex objects.  The Garden vigorously fought the allegations, rejecting an $800,000 deal proposed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and questioning Prince's mental health in court papers.

Two weeks after the Garden agreed to pay $11.5 million to settle a suit by former Knicks exec Anucha Browne Sanders, arena honchos also bit the bullet in the Prince case. By settling, the Garden avoided a public trial that would have been chock-full of explosive testimony about sexually charged shenanigans off the ice.

Prince claimed she was canned after complaining that a Rangers public relations man and a former New York Times reporter propositioned her for a threesome.  She also charged that brass grilled her about the skaters' sexual habits, ordered skaters to stuff their bras and lose weight and bought booze for underage cheerleaders.

The Rangers launched a vicious counterattack, alleging in court papers that Prince suffered from bipolar disorder and was prone to "hypersexuality."  The Garden's lawyers charged that Prince was obsessed with the skaters' looks, groped them and used crass language to get them to act sexier."

Wow - don't lawsuit's just bring out the best in everyone?   Nothing like these kinds of notes to make you brace for the grind of the new year. 

Here's to the poor trainer that's delivering the sexual harassment class to the MSG execs.  Can you imagine a more surly group?  Would you put a male or female trainer in charge of that class?

Think about that question for awhile...


Wally Bock

I don't have to think a long time on the question, Kris. I want a trainer who knows the subject including relevant cases where damages were paid from individuals as well as corporations. I want a trainer who's good at presenting the material. I want a trainer who's good with tough audiences, especially "macho clubs." And I want a trainer who's realist enough to know that no matter how good a job he or she does nothing much is likely to change.

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