Robert Sarver: LeBron James and Other NBA Figures React to Sun’s Ownership Decision

The report, commissioned by the NBA last fall following an ESPN report on Sarvers’ conduct, found that the Suns owner “had repeated the N-word at least five times during his tenure with the Suns/Mercury organization.” , when he repeated the statements of others. ”

He “also participated in cases of unfair behavior towards female employees, made many gender-related comments in the workplace, made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women, and committed inappropriate physical behavior towards male employees on several occasions.” “

“Now read through the Sarver stories a few times,” James wrote on Twitter. “I have to be honest… Our league definitely got that wrong. I don’t have to explain why. They all read the stories and make up their own minds. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s no place in this league for that kind of behavior.

“I love this league and I deeply respect our leadership. But that’s not right. Misogyny, sexism and racism have no place in any workplace. Whether you own the team or play for the team. We hold up our league as an example of our values ​​and it’s not.”

According to the NBA, 320 current and former employees who worked for Sarver were surveyed. The NBA said Sarver and the Suns and Mercury organizations cooperated in the investigation.

Sarver, who has been the 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 by NBA statutes.

Paul, a 12-time All-Star who has played for the Suns since 2020, also said the NBA’s punishment should have been more severe.

“Like many others, I examined the report. I was and am appalled and disappointed by what I read,” Paul said wrote on Twitter. “This behavior, especially towards women, is unacceptable and must never be repeated.

“My view is that the sanctions have not really addressed what we all agree was cruel behaviour. My heart goes out to all the people who were affected.”

In 2014, then-Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life by the NBA and forced to sell the franchise after making racist remarks.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who assumed his role not long before the Sterling allegations came to light, explained why Sarver did not receive a life ban for his comments.

“This case is very different and it’s not like one was caught on tape and the other wasn’t,” Silver said, per “Unstoppable isn’t strong enough – it’s unfathomable in every way – but it was a very different context than what we saw in this earlier case.

“If you look back at his track record of hiring, his track record of supporting certain employees, what actual people were saying about him – even though there were terrible things – there were also many, many people who had very positive things to say through him.” this process, I’ve taken all of that into account.

“There are special rights here, someone who owns an NBA team versus someone who is an employee. That equates to a $10 million fine and a one-year ban, I don’t know how I compare that to a job he doesn’t have the right to take away from his team… but to me the consequences are severe.