LeBron James detailed his disappointment with the NBA’s punishment of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, writing “our league definitely got this wrong” in a series of social media posts Wednesday.
Sarver was banned from the NBA for a year and fined $10 million after the league on Tuesday released the results of a 10-month independent investigation into allegations of workplace abuse during Sarver’s tenure as managing partner. of the Suns that spanned nearly two decades.
behaviour. I love this league and deeply respect our leadership. But this is not right. There is no place for misogyny, sexism and racism in any workplace. It doesn’t matter if you own the team or play for the team. We hold our league up as an example of our values and it’s not like that.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 14, 2022
Suns point guard Chris Paul, who also served two terms as president of the National Basketball Players Association, expressed sentiments similar to James’s, writing, “I am of the opinion that the sanctions failed to really address what We can all agree that it was egregious behavior.” .”
I am of the opinion that the sanctions failed to truly address what we can all agree was egregious behaviour. My heart goes out to all the people who were affected.
— Chris Paul (@CP3) September 15, 2022
Earlier Wednesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver held a news conference in New York following the league’s board of governors meeting and addressed concerns he has received from the player base, which is almost a 75% black.
Among the litany of allegations first reported by ESPN last November and corroborated by investigation by the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Sarver was found to have, on at least five occasions, repeated the N-word when counting the declarations. of others.
“I’ve talked to some players,” Silver said Wednesday. “Those have been private conversations. I’ll let the players talk directly about how they feel.”
Silver went on to describe his conversations with players as “disheartening” because, he said, “I think those players see that we’re still dealing with these issues.”
Later Wednesday, Tamika Tremaglio, executive director of the NBPA, issued a statement saying “Sarver’s reported actions and conduct are appalling and have no place in our sport or any workplace.”
Tremaglio added that he “has made my position known to Adam Silver regarding my thoughts on the extent of the punishment, and I firmly believe that Mr. Sarver should never again hold a managerial position within our league.”
James’ statement echoes his stance from 2014 when the league was investigating alleged racist misconduct by then-LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
“There’s no place for Donald Sterling in the NBA, there’s no place for him,” James said before a Miami Heat playoff game against Charlotte. “… They have to take a stand. They have to be very aggressive with it. I don’t know what it will be, but we can’t have that in our league.”
James has spent the last half of his NBA career, which will enter its 20th season this fall, as a public advocate for social change.
Silver said that, from a personal standpoint, he was “in disbelief” when told of Sarver’s transgressions, but that many of the league’s players and coaches he spoke with found the situation all too familiar.
“Look, I think it’s no secret that this is a league where about 80% of our players are black. More than half of our coaches are black,” Silver said. “I will say that none of them are maybe as surprised as I am, living their lives, that I don’t think they’re reading this saying, oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening.”