NEW YORK (AP) - Isiah Thomas urged C. Vivian Stringer to ``get the facts'' about what he said during a sexual harassment trial Friday, after the Rutgers women's coach was quoted as saying his comments during a deposition were ``disgusting.''
A portion of the deposition was shown in court during the trial, in which a jury ruled that Thomas and Madison Square Garden sexually harassed former team employee Anucha Browne Sanders.
The tape showed Thomas saying he made a distinction between a black man calling a black woman 'bitch' and a white man doing the same thing. He was criticized for that by Al Sharpton, who threatened to lead protests at Knicks games unless Thomas explained his remarks.
Stringer weighed in on a story on ESPN.com, saying: ``You want to know what I really felt? It was disgusting. What does he think? This was a woman first. He has no right to put her down, and then think it's OK for me to put her down but it's not all right for a white man to put her down. What are you talking about? She is a human being and as a female, and in particular as a black female, I took tremendous offense to that.''
But Thomas has repeatedly said the portion of tape played in court misrepresented his opinion, and he urged Stringer to get that before commenting.
``I'm not sure what she said, but if she would like to hear the facts and not the edited portion of what I supposedly said, I'm not hard to find,'' he said after the Knicks' loss to New Jersey. ``It's easy to get what I said. So don't speak from ignorance, get the facts about what I said and not the portion that was taken out of context.''
The Knicks have stressed that Thomas in his deposition never said it was OK for anyone to call a woman a bitch, just that it was worse for a white male to call a black woman bitch for racial reasons.
When asked during testimony if it matters if a white man uses the term toward a black woman, Thomas responded: ``That compounds the issue because now you have perceived racial undertones to that if a white male is referring to a black female using that word.''
When asked if it was ever ``OK in your belief for any man, no matter what his race, creed or color, to refer to a woman as a bitch?'' Thomas responded: ``It is never OK, it is never acceptable, and it's always inappropriate, and I said that in my deposition.''
Stringer was previously forced into the issue of men using derogatory language toward women when radio host Don Imus made a racist and sexist remark about her team after it lost to Tennessee in last season's national championship game.
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