Some stars believe that the punishments that have been handed down to the owner of the Phoenix Suns are not severe enough.
“Our League got it wrong,” “the sanctions weren’t severe enough,”… American basketball superstars LeBron James and Chris Paul felt that the one-year suspension handed down by the National Basketball Association to Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver for his racist and sexist behavior was insufficient.
The North American Basketball League (NBA) is currently dealing with yet another contentious issue over a month before the start of the new season. Following the completion of an inquiry, the National Basketball Association (NBA) handed Sarver, the owner of the Phoenix Suns as well as the Mercury, a franchise that competes in the WNBA Women’s League, a one-year suspension and a fine of ten million dollars (ten million euros).
To be more specific, the businessman who is now 60 years old will continue to be the owner of both franchises even though he will be unable to manage them during this period, nor will he be able to participate in meetings or even visit the arenas where NBA and WNBA games are played.
In question is his history of racist and sexist behavior, which was originally brought to light by the American television channel ESPN in November 2021. This report was based on the testimonies of over seventy individuals working for the Suns.
In the end, the findings of the independent investigation that was commissioned by the NBA revealed that Sarver had “obviously breached” the standards of ethical behavior that are upheld across the professional world and by the League. He had, in particular, spoken “the term nè ***” at least five times, but he had also told one of his employees when she was pregnant, that she could no longer do her job properly if she had a child of her own. He had stated this to her while she was pregnant.
According to the findings of the investigation, he is also accused of having a harassing attitude, using language with sexual connotations, and saying “words that do not take into account racial sensitivity.” All of these allegations stem from statements he allegedly made.
Read also: The owner of the Suns has been given a one-year suspension by the NBA for his racist and misogynistic comments.
Difference in treatment
However, NBA superstar and Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James believe that the “League got it wrong” in terms of the severity of its punishment. On his Twitter account, he expressed his opinion that “this kind of mindset has no place in this league.” I adore competing in this sport, and I have the utmost respect for its captains (of the NBA). But it’s not okay. The workplace is not the place for bigotry of any kind, including racism, sexism, or misogyny. It makes no difference whether you own a team or whether you play for the team.
A disparity in treatment is used to condemn “King James” in hollow. This disparity is related to the status of Sarver, who is also a minority shareholder in RCD Mallorca, a football team that competes in the first level of the Spanish football league.
Even within the Arizona club, the NBA’s decision went badly. Chris Paul, the point guard for the Suns, expressed his knowledge of the allegation via Twitter, saying, “Like many others, I have been made aware of it.” What I read both horrified and disappointed me, and it continues to do so. This attitude, especially toward women, is inexcusable and should never be passed down to future generations. I think that the punishments did not adequately reflect the heinous nature of the behavior, which is something that we can all agree is unacceptable.
Read moreThe NBA commissioner, Adam Silver is taking full responsibility for the punishment handed down to the owner of the Suns.
Before Sarver, the Sterling case
When asked about the harshness of the sentence, the commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, gave a response that completely accepted this decision: “The behavior (of Mr. Sarver) is unacceptable and I think we have shown fairness.”
Silver stated, “I have no right to remove him from this franchise.” 
However, there is a precedent for this: in 2014, the National Basketball Association banned Donald Sterling, who at the time was the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, for the rest of his life after private recordings of him making racist remarks were made public.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) had ordered him to give up his franchise and pay a fine of two and a half million dollars. This amount is considerably less than the ten million dollars that Mr. Sarver is required to pay, which is the maximum financial penalty that is permitted by NBA regulations.
Neil Olshey, the president of Portland basketball operations, was let off from his position in December 2021 for creating a hostile work environment at the Oregon club. This event took place further up the West Coast.