National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) executive director Tamika Tremaglio has called for a lifetime ban on Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver, while PayPal has threatened to end its sponsorship with the team if it remains team owner.
Tremaglio, who appeared on ESPN’s NBA Today with Malika Andrews on Friday, was asked to clarify her stance after posting a Twitter thread on Thursday saying Sarver should never be in a leadership position again.
When asked if she meant a lifetime ban for Sarver, Tremaglio agreed.
“We absolutely demand that,” said Tremaglio. “We don’t want him to be in a position where he’s managing or interacting with people who work with our players or our players themselves.
“We are absolutely clear from the findings of this report that we do not want him to be in that position.”
On Tuesday, the NBA announced it had fined Sarver $10 million and suspended him for a year after an independent investigation found he had behaved in a hostile, racist and inappropriate manner.
The report, commissioned by the NBA last fall, found that Sarver “engaged in conduct that clearly violated common workplace standards as reflected in team and league rules and policies. gender-related statements and behavior, and harsh treatment of employees that occasionally amounted to bullying.”
Part of the findings revealed that Sarver “had repeated the N-word at least five times during his tenure at the Suns/Mercury organization when reciting 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.” “
When asked, Tremaglio said she was speaking “on behalf of our players”.
“It’s what our players want, that while we understand there’s been a thorough investigation, and we’re very pleased that the NBA has been able to comply – because that’s clearly something we want to see – we want it too.” make it very clear that we don’t want him back in a position where he’s going to influence our players and those who serve our players on a day-to-day basis.”
Also on Friday, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said the global technology platform and digital payments company will not renew its partnership with the Suns if Sarver remains on the team.
“PayPal is a values-driven company and has a strong track record of fighting racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination,” Schulman said in a statement. “We reviewed the report of the NBA League’s independent investigation into Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver and found his conduct to be unacceptable and contrary to our values.”
In October 2018, the Suns announced that PayPal would be the team’s first-ever jersey patch partner.
“PayPal’s sponsorship with the Suns will expire at the end of the current season. Given the results of the NBA investigation, should Robert Sarver remain associated with the Suns organization after serving his suspension, we will not renew our sponsorship.” the statement went on.
“While we strongly disagree with the behavior of Robert Sarver, we remain supportive of the team, its players and the experienced and diverse talent who now lead the organization including Head Coach, Monty Williams, General Manager, James Jones, Assistant General Manager, Morgan Cato, and Kim Corbitt, Senior Vice President of People and Culture.
On Thursday, team vice chairman Jahm Najafi called for Sarver’s resignation in an open letter to Phoenix Suns staff and players, while NBA greats LeBron James and Chris Paul criticized the NBA for punishing the Suns’ owner.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver explained why Sarver didn’t receive a lifetime ban for his comments.
Silver said, per NBA.com, “The equivalent of a $10 million fine and a year’s ban, I don’t know how I compare that to a job. I don’t have the right to take away his team… but for me the consequences are grave.”
CNN reached out to the Suns but didn’t get an immediate response.