Golden State Warriors All-Star forward Draymond Green has called on NBA owners to hold a vote to end Robert Sarver’s position as owner of the Phoenix Suns.
“I ask for a vote,” Green said on “The Draymond Green Show” podcast, which was released on Tuesday.
League rules require a three-quarters vote of the board of governors to remove an owner.
“It’s kind of disconcerting to me that we’re stepping into the arena next year,” Green said on his podcast. “The Phoenix Suns will enter the arena next year, he will sit on the sidelines and we will continue to play. So the only thing I will need is someone to explain to me why this was OK to get rid of [LA Clippers owner Donald] Sterling, but it is not possible to force Robert Sarver to sell after what we read?
“…I ask that there be a vote. If that’s the only way, then let’s see what those numbers are. Let’s see what they are.”
Sarver, who is also the majority owner of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, was suspended for a year and fined $10 million last week after an investigation found he used the N-word at least five times “when recounting the statements of others”.
Sarver has also been implicated in “cases of unfair conduct toward female employees,” including “gender-related comments” and inappropriate comments about employee appearance.
Silver banned Sterling for life, although a vote was never taken among NBA owners to end his tenure as owner. The Clippers were eventually sold.
Green said the league’s punishment for Sarver simply wasn’t enough and the players were “kicked out of the league for less”.
“To get suspended for a year and fined 10 million dollars, I mean the only way to get suspended for a year and fined 10 million dollars is if you own a active and you can’t be fired,” Green said. “Because I think anybody in the NBA who — and especially from a front office perspective, like maybe not a player, although we’ve seen players get kicked out of the league for less — would be fired at 1000% if half the things that came out of the Robert Sarver investigation came out of anybody else.”
The NBA commissioned an investigation following an ESPN article in November 2021 detailing allegations of racism and misogyny during Sarver’s 17 years as owner.
Sarver was found to have used the N-word at least five times “while repeating or purporting to repeat what a black person had said – four of them after being told by black and white subordinates that he would not should not use the word, even in repetition of another,” the NBA report said.
“#1, if you use the N-word to describe something someone said or [are] tell a story that someone has told you or [you are] using the word, because someone else did it – stop it,” Green said. ” It’s ridiculous. Because the level of comfort you need to have to use the N-word again doesn’t validate or allow Robert Sarver to use the N-word.”
Green wondered how someone like Sarver could lead an organization whose success “is pretty much built on the backs of African Americans.”
“When he comes back next year, because it’s only been a year, will everything be back to normal?” Green asked. “Are these guys supposed to not see everything they’ve just seen and heard? Are these guys supposed to feel comfortable continuing to work with this guy?”
Green praised Silver for “the positions they’ve taken over the years,” but he said the outcome of that investigation “was kind of below what it should be.”
“To think that someone like Robert Sarver who acts that way can continue to represent us? They’re bulls—,” Green said. “You can’t go on representing a lot more people than yourself with those views, talking to people the way he did, treating African Americans and women the way he did. is not OK.
“This guy just comes back into the fold like he still represents us? And like he’s a part of us? It can’t be that way. Because for us, especially as African Americans, I’m wrong comfortable, I’m very uncomfortable. And knowing that, in that position, you can basically do whatever you want, and because you own an asset, you can’t be punished?”
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