MSG CEO James Dolan has collapsed over facial recognition criticism and vows to continue scanning naysayers

Madison Square Garden boss James Dolan has vowed to continue using facial recognition technology to blacklist his corporate opponents, dismissing efforts by state lawmakers to stop the practice as an unconstitutional waste of time.

In a rambling and provocative interview on Fox 5 on Thursday, Dolan lambasted his countless critics, railed against bail reform and threatened to suspend alcohol at a future sporting event if state regulators did not abandon their opposition to its surveillance practice.

“Our values ​​are important to us too. The Garden must defend itself,” he said. “People say you’re too sensitive, you shouldn’t defend yourself, that’s ‘The Godfather’ thing,” he continued, before invoking Michael Corleone’s famous quote: “This n It’s not personal, it’s strictly professional.”

Dolan has come under fire for his use of surveillance technology to remove attorneys working for law firms with active litigation against MSG Entertainment, a holding company he heads that also oversees Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon. Theater.

In a high-profile case, a mother chaperoning her daughter’s Girl Scout troop was removed from a performance of the Christmas Pageant after cameras matched her face with a database of photos of lawyers working for prohibited businesses.

But as he faces public outrage, lawsuits, state legislation and an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Dolan digs in and doubles down on his grudges, as he has often done in the past.

On Thursday, he anticipated an escalation with the State Liquor Authority, which threatened to revoke his right to sell alcohol if he did not reverse the controversial policy.

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

He then held up a sheet of paper with the face and phone number of SLA President Sharif Kabir, which he said he would hand out to fans on the night without alcohol.

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

An ALC spokesperson says MSG is being investigated for an apparent violation of the Liquor Control Act, which requires licensees to allow general public access to their premises .

“All establishments licensed to traffic liquor by the State Liquor Authority are subject to and must comply with the same laws and obligations, whether it is a small business or a multi-billion dollar corporation. “SLA spokesperson Joshua D. Heller said. said in a statement.

Dolan, who hasn’t spoken directly to the press in years, also raised the possibility of Madison Square Garden losing its lucrative tax break, casting it as an unlikely move by the state legislature. “Of course they don’t want to do that,” he said.

He went on to accuse lawmakers who challenged him of ignoring bigger issues he says plague the city, such as bail reform and high taxes.

“What really needs to happen is the public needs to tell these politicians and ALS to start working on things that matter to us,” he said. “Like law enforcement. Make our streets safe. Put our taxes online. Stop people from leaving New York and ruining our city.

State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, whose district includes Madison Square Garden and which introduced legislation restricting facial recognition technology, said the interview was unsurprising, given the “petty and vindictiveness that we all expect from Dolan”.

“We are witnessing the collapse of one of New York’s most notorious billionaires,” he added.

This story has been updated to include comments from the New York State Liquor Authority.