On Tuesday, September 13, news broke that the NBA had decided to suspend Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver for one year over workplace misconduct. Sarver, worth approximately $11 billion, was also fined $10 million.
Back in 2021, a massive ESPN report detailed allegations of racism, sexism, and sexual harassment allegedly perpetrated by the 60-year-old owner of the Phoenix Suns, Mercury, and La Liga club RCD Mallorca.
Following an investigation, the NBA found that — among other things — Sarver “repeated the N-word multiple times when recounting the statements of others.” Additionally, independent investigators concluded that Sarver “engaged in instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees, made many sex-related comments in the workplace, and made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees.”
All of the above allegations are in addition to apparent instances of “demeaning and harsh treatment of employees, including by yelling and cursing at them.” Still despite the bevy of misconduct from Sarver, the NBA has suspended him for just one season and LeBron James is among those who do not agree with the severity of the punishment.
LeBron James addresses Robert Sarver’s one-year suspension and says that the NBA “definitely got this wrong”
James, the face of the league for the last 15 years or so, chimed in on Twitter to criticize the league’s decision, declaring that they “definitely got this wrong.”
“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,” James tweeted.
“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. 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 aint it.”
behavior. 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 aint it.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 14, 2022
Given how the league handled the Donald Sterling controversy a few years back, which saw the former Los Angeles Clippers owner forced out of the league for good, Sarver’s punishment is certainly light in comparison.
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