Robert Sarver, owner of the Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, was handed a scalding punishment by the NBA based on allegations of improper workplace conduct and past uses of the N-word in front of Suns staff, coaches and players.
Coming out to voice his displeasure with the punishment was Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, who tweeted out on Wednesday that the NBA “definitely” got Sarver’s discipline wrong.
James expressed, alongside longtime friend and Suns guard Chris Paul, that the NBA’s punishment should have been more severe to prevent any further allowance of workplace discrimination.
With a streak of social justice activism, James’ stern request was no surprise.
James tweeted, “Read through the Sarver stories a few times now. I gotta be honest … Our league definitely got this wrong. I don’t need to explain why. Y’all read the stories and decide for yourself. I said it before and I’m gonna say it again, there is no place in this league for that kind of [behavior] … “
He added, “I love this league and I deeply respect our leadership. But this isn’t right. There is no place for misogyny, sexism, and racism in any work place. Don’t matter if you own the team or play for the team. We hold our league up as an example of our values and this ain’t it.”
As relayed by OutKick’s Mark Harris, the league banned Sarver from all team-related activities for a year and fined him $10 million following a 10-month independent investigation looking at claims made by employees that worked under Sarver.
Chris Paul was also heavily critical of the Association’s penalty on Sarver.
“Like many others, I reviewed the report. I was and am horrified and disappointed by what I read. This conduct especially towards women is unacceptable and must never be repeated,” Paul tweeted on Wednesday.
“I am of the view that the sanctions fell short in truly addressing what we can all agree was atrocious behavior,” he added.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke on the league’s decision during a press conference on Wednesday.
“Look, I think it’s no secret this is a league where roughly 80 percent of our players are Black. More than half our coaches are Black,” Silver said.
“I will say that none of them maybe are as shocked as I am, living their lives, that I don’t think they’re reading this saying, oh, my God, I can’t believe this happens,” said the commissioner.
When pressed on differing standards between NBA owners and the rest of the NBA based on the punishment, Silver said, “There are particular rights here to someone who owns an NBA team as opposed to someone who is an employee.”
Stay tuned with OutKick as the story develops
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela