LeBron James denounces NBA’s decision on Robert Sarver punishment

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James. (Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James. (Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) /

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James disagrees with the NBA’s decision on Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver’s punishment.

On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the NBA announced that Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver is suspended for one year, and will be fined $10 million following an investigation into the organization. The investigation occurred following a Nov. 2021 ESPN report that detailed allegations of racism and misogyny by Sarver throughout his 18 years owning the team.

The day following the announcement, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James took to Twitter to say that he feels the NBA got the decision wrong, saying “there is no place in this league for that kind of behavior.”

You can read James’ full comments in the tweets below:

LeBron James says NBA got decision on Robert Sarver punishment wrong

Even with the decision the NBA made, they say in their statement that the independent investigation determined that Sarver “engaged in conduct that clearly violated common workplace standards, as reflected in team and League rules and policies.  This conduct included the use of racially insensitive language; unequal treatment of female employees; sex-related statements and conduct; and harsh treatment of employees that on occasion constituted bullying.”

The NBA listed the key findings of the investigation, which included Sarver repeating the “N-word” when reciting the statements of others, making sex-related comments in the workplace, making inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of women (including female employees), yelling and swearing at employees, and had inappropriate physical conduct towards male employees.

However, the investigation determined that there was no finding that Sarver’s “workplace misconduct was motivated by racial or gender-based animus.”

Here is NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s full statement regarding the punishment, via NBA.com:

"“The statements and conduct described in the findings of the independent investigation are troubling and disappointing,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.  “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.“I am hopeful that the NBA community will use this opportunity to reflect on what this great game means to people everywhere and the values of equality, respect and inclusion that it strives to represent.  Regardless of position, power or intent, we all need to recognize the corrosive and hurtful impact of racially insensitive and demeaning language and behavior.  On behalf of the entire NBA, I apologize to all of those impacted by the misconduct outlined in the investigators’ report.  We must do better.”"

For those who want to read the full report of the investigation, you can do so by clicking on this link.

James disagrees with the decision the league made, citing that there is “no place for misogyny, racism, and sexism” in the NBA. He is far from the only one who feels the NBA dropped the ball with the punishment they gave Sarver.

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