Chris Paul, LeBron James call out NBA after Robert Sarver suspension
After Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver was handed a one-year, $10 million suspension for using racist and misogynistic language in the workplace, Chris Paul and LeBron James weighed in.
Paul took to Twitter on Wednesday night after NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke, saying the sanctions “fell short in truly addressing what we can all agree was atrocious behavior.”
I am of the view that the sanctions fell short in truly addressing what we can all agree was atrocious behavior. My heart goes out to all of the people that were affected.
— Chris Paul (@CP3) September 15, 2022
The Los Angeles Lakers small forward was unhappy with Silver and the league’s suspension after the findings of the investigation and said the league “definitely got this wrong.”
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
Paul and James have been avid fighters against social injustice throughout their careers. James even called for Sarver to sell the franchise as a whole.
The Suns point guard was also the president of the National Basketball Players Association from 2013-21 before C.J. McCollum took over.
Tamika Tremaglio, currently executive director of the NBPA, said that Sarver’s workplace actions only came to light in 2021 and that they have been happening for quite some time.
“I have made my position known to Adam Silver regarding my thoughts on the punishment, and strongly believe that Mr. Sarver should never hold a managerial position within our league again,” Tremaglio said in a statement Wednesday.
Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA and forced to sell the team in 2014 after his racist remarks were caught on audio recordings.
Sarver and James’ agent, Rich Paul, also have some sort of history as Paul was the agent for former Sun Eric Bledsoe. When Bledsoe was entering contract negotiations, Sarver and Paul had a heated exchange that led to the Suns’ owner reportedly threatening to fire then-head coach Earl Watson, another client of Paul.
This led to Sarver reportedly giving Watson an ultimatum for him to either get rid of his agent, or he would be fired. That case was mentioned in the report released by the independent law firm this week.
Bledsoe and Watson both were with Phoenix for only three games into the 2017-18 season.