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LeBron James and Chris Paul blast light punishment of Phoenix Suns owner

The NBA superstars believe Suns owner Robert Sarver got off easy
LeBron James and Chris Paul blast light punishment of Phoenix Suns owner
Chris Paul (Photo credit: / DFree)

NBA superstars LeBron James and Chris Paul expressed strong dissatisfaction with the league office for its light punishment of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver for his many transgressions.

Sarver, who also owns the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, was given a year-long suspension and fined $10 million for a pattern of racist, sexist and boorish behavior toward players and employees over an 18-year period.

“There is no place for misogyny, sexism, and racism in any workplace. We hold our league up as an example of our values and this ain’t it,” James, 37, penned to his 53 million Twitter followers. 

While the NBA investigation made “no finding that Sarver’s conduct was motivated by racial or gender-based animus,” it did find evidence of “racially insensitive language, unequal treatment of female employees, and sex-related statements and conduct,” according to ESPN. 

James believes that Sarver should have been banished from NBA ownership for life.

“Our league definitely got this wrong. I don’t need to explain why. Y’all read the stories and decide for yourself,” he said. 

Paul, who has played for the Suns since 2020, was even harsher in his assessment of the punishment handed down to Sarver. 

“Like many others, I reviewed the report. I was and am horrified and disappointed by what I read,” he wrote on Twitter. 

The head of the players’ union called for a similar ban for Sarver.

“I have made my position known to [NBA commissioner] Adam Silver regarding my thoughts on the extent of the punishment, and strongly believe that Mr. Sarver should never hold a managerial position within our league again,” said National Basketball Players Association executive director Tamika Tremaglio.

Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, told the media in a statement obtained by ESPN that Sarver’s behavior was unacceptable. However, he did not believe it rose to the level of a lifetime ban. 

“First of all, we’re looking at the totality of circumstances over an 18-year period in which he’s owned these teams,” said Silver.

“And ultimately, we made a judgment – I made a judgment – that in the circumstances in which he had used that language and that behavior while, as I said it was indefensible, it’s not strong enough [to merit a lifetime ban].

“It’s beyond the pale in every possible way to use language and behave that way, but that it was wholly of a different kind than what we saw in that earlier case,” Silver said in reference to the banishment of former NBA Clippers owner Donald Sterling. 

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