In response to Robert Sarver’s decision, LeBron James and other NBA players claim that “our league got this wrong.”
LeBron James and Chris Paul have criticized the NBA for the sentence meted out to Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, who was found to have engaged in hostile, racially insensitive, and unlawful behavior this week. Sarver was fined $10 million and suspended from his club for a year.
I have to be honest—this was a mistake by our league. The NBA commissioned the investigation after an ESPN article about Sarver’s conduct found that the Suns’ owner had “repeated the N-word when repeating the comments of others at least five times throughout his tenure with the Suns/Mercury organization.”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:
That sort of behavior has no place in this league.
But this is incorrect.
There shouldn’t be any discrimination, sexism, or misogyny in any workplace.
Our league serves as a representation of our values, but that isn’t it.
The NBA claims that Sarver, the Suns, and the Mercury organizations all contributed to the investigation.
Sarver, who has been the primary owner of the Suns and Mercury since 2004, has been placed on a one-year suspension and is mandated to undergo a workplace training program. He is not allowed to participate in any capacity with the squad during that time.
According to NBA guidelines, the largest sanction that may be imposed is $10 million.
Paul, a 12-time All-Star who has played for the Suns since 2020, stated that a more severe punishment from the NBA was warranted. I was and still am frightened and disgusted by what I read, Paul wrote on Twitter. This behavior is disgusting and must never be repeated, especially concerning women.
I think that what we all agreed was terrible behavior that was not appropriately addressed by the repercussions.
Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers at the time, was forced to sell the team in 2014 after being permanently suspended from the NBA for making racial remarks on camera.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who took office when allegations against Sterling surfaced, explained Sarver’s lack of life in prison. Even if I don’t have the authority to remove your team, I believe the consequences would be dire. “Although it was a different situation from what we observed in the prior case, the word “indefensible” is not strong enough to adequately describe how out of the norm this was.” writes the author.