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Phoenix Suns star point guard Chris Paul voiced his applying for grants managing partner Robert Sarver, and like many, the veteran floor general believes he should’ve been facing a stiffer penalty when compared to a one-year suspension and a $10 million fine.
Paul took to Twitter and said he believes the league’s punishment “fell short”:
Sarver was investigated following a November 2021 report by ESPN’s Baxter Holmes revealed multiple allegations of racism and misogynistic behavior during his time with the Suns. On Tuesday, the NBA announced sanctions for Sarver following the investigation determined he “engaged in conduct that clearly violated common workplace standards”:
NBA Communications @NBAPR
The NBA today issued the next statement: pic.twitter.com/jjlBK771PT
Regulations firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz conducted the independent investigation, holding interviews with 320 people and reviewing a lot more than 80,000 documents. The findings were released on Tuesday in a 43-page report, revealing damning allegations against Sarver.
It had been determined that Sarver “said the N-word in repeating or purporting to repeat a Black person on at the very least five occasions during his tenure, including after being advised never to achieve this” and “made many sex-related comments at work.”
Furthermore, the investigation discovered that he “made inappropriate comments concerning the appearance of female employees along with other women” and “frequently engaged in demeaning and harsh treatment of employeesincluding by yelling and cursing at them.”
Regardless of the abhorrent revelations, Sarver has been permitted to keep his position with the Suns. Many had expected a penalty like the one received by former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was simply banned from the league and fined $2.5 million after he was heard on tape making racist comments in 2014.
However, NBA commissioner Adam Silver stood by the league’s punishment for Sarver when he spoke to reporters on Wednesday. Silver said Sterling was guilty of “blatant racist conduct fond of a select group,” while Sarver’s comments were “beyond the pale” but “wholly of another kind” than Sterling’s.
Paul was also an associate of the Clippers through the Sterling controversy. He didn’t restrain addressing the problem in the past, and he even threatened to boycott the growing season if Sterling remained the dog owner. Paul may be the unquestioned leader of the Suns and may push for a protest of some kind through the upcoming season.
The 37-year-old wasn’t the only real star player to voice his opinion on the league’s handling of Sarver. LA Lakers forward LeBron James said on Twitter he felt “our league definitely got this wrong.”