‘Dorina definitely got it wrong’: LeBron James and other NBA figures respond to Robert Sarver’s decision

The report, commissioned by the NBA last fall after an ESPN report on Sarver’s behavior, found that the Suns owner “on at least five occasions during his tenure with the Suns/Mercury organization, repeated the N-word when listing others’ statements.”

He has also “involved in instances of unfair behavior towards female employees, made numerous comments regarding sex in the workplace, made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women, and on several occasions engaged in inappropriate physical behavior towards male employees.”

“I’ve read Sarver’s stories a few times now” James wrote on Twitter. “I have to be honest…our union definitely got it wrong. I don’t need to explain why. You all read the stories and decide for yourself. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is no place in this league for this kind of behaviour.”

“I love this league and I deeply respect our leadership. But it is not true. There is no place for misogyny, sexism and racism in any workplace. It does not matter if you own the team or play for the team. We see our union as an example of our values ​​and that is not the case.” .

According to the NBA, 320 current and former employees who worked at Sarver were interviewed. The National Basketball Association said the organizations Sarver, Suns and Mercury cooperated with the investigation.

In an open letter to Suns staff and players on Thursday, the team’s vice-chairman Jahm Al-Najafi called Sarver to resign.

“I cannot in my good judgment allow our children and future generations of fans to think that this behavior is permissible because of wealth and privilege,” Al-Nujaifi said. “Therefore, in accordance with my commitment to help eradicate any form of racism, sexism and prejudice, as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Phoenix Suns, I am calling for the resignation of Robert Sarver.”

Sarver, who has been a majority owner of Suns and Mercury since 2004, cannot have any involvement with the team during the year-long suspension and must complete a workplace training program. The $10 million fine is the maximum allowed as set by NBA regulations.

Paul, a 12-time All-Star who has played for the Sun since 2020, said the NBA penalty should have been harsher.

“Like many others, I reviewed the report. I was horrified and disappointed at what I read,” Paul wrote on Twitter. “This behavior especially towards women is unacceptable and should never be repeated.

“It is my view that the sanctions have failed to address what we can all agree is terrible behaviour. My heart goes out to all the people affected.”

In 2014, Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was given a life ban by the NBA and forced to sell the franchise after he was recorded making racist remarks.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who was not long into his role before the Sterling allegations surfaced, explained why Sarver was not granted a life ban over his comments.

“This case is completely different, one isn’t caught on tape and the other isn’t,” Silver said, on NBA.com. “It can’t be defended strong enough – it’s beyond pallor in every possible way – but it was a very different context than we saw in that earlier case.

“Looking at his track record of hiring, his track record of supporting certain employees, and what actual people said about him – while there were horrible things – there were also lots and lots of people who had very positive things to say about her through the process. She took it all in consideration.

“There are certain rights here, someone owns an NBA team rather than someone is an employee. Equivalent to a $10 million fine and a one-year suspension, I don’t know how to measure that for a job. He doesn’t have the right to fire his team…but for me the consequences are dire. “.

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