On five different occasions Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver repeated the “N-word” while recounting statements from others, made sexually related comments toward female employees, made inappropriate comments about female employees’ physiques, had inappropriate physical conduct towards male employees, admitted to hating diversity, and yelled and cursed at employees. Where in can you be investigated by a reputable law firm, have the above allegations proven and still keep your team? Apparently, the NBA.
The reason Robert Sarver, who has been suspended from the league for a year and fined $10 million, is still an NBA owner is because there is no visual or audio evidence to support these claims. Former Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling, who was caught on an audio recording by his former mistress making racist comments, lost his team, was banned by Adam Silver and was fined $2.5 million.
Silver issued this statement in response to Sarvers actions: “The statements and conduct described in the findings of the independent investigation are troubling and disappointing. We believe the outcome is the right one, taking into account all the facts, circumstances and context brought to light by the comprehensive investigation of this 18-year period and our commitment to upholding proper standards in NBA workplaces.”
The NBA, which has repeatedly stated they stand for diversity, inclusion, and equity has dropped the ball. How can one stand on those principles, but allow an owner to receive a slap on the wrist for making racially insensitive comments and degrading his workplace employees (both women and men)?
Not only should Sarver be stripped of his ownership, Adam Silver should lay down the law and ban him from the NBA.