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NBPA executive director: Ban Sarver forever

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NBPA executive director wants Sarver banned forever (0: 55)

NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio says that NBA players usually do not want Robert Sarver back a posture of power. (0: 55)

4: 48 PM ET

  • Baxter Holmes

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    ESPN Senior Writer

      Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) is really a senior writer for ESPN Digital and Print, concentrating on the NBA. He’s got covered the Lakers, the Celtics and previously worked for The Boston Globe and LA Times.
  • Malika Andrews

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    ESPN Staff Writer

    • Staff Writer
    • Joined ESPN in 2018
    • Appears regularly on ESPN Chicago 1000

NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio, saying she was speaking with respect to NBA players, on Friday needed an eternity ban of Phoenix Suns majority owner Robert Sarver, who was simply given a one-year suspension by the league for racist and misogynist remarks.

“We have been absolutely calling for that [lifetime ban],” Tremaglio said within an interview on ESPN’s NBA Today. “We usually do not want him to stay a posture where he could be managing or engaging with folks who are engaging with this players or the players themselves. We have been absolutely clear from the findings which are in the report that people usually do not want him to stay that position.”

Tremaglio confirmed that she was speaking with respect to players, with her remarks coming after LA Lakers star LeBron James and Suns point guard Chris Paul had tweeted their disappointment with the NBA’s punishment of Sarver earlier this week.

“It really is our players’ desire that while we recognize that there’s been an intensive investigation even though we’re happy that the NBA could continue on that — because that’s clearly a thing that you want to see happen — we also desire to make it clear that we usually do not want him to be back a posture where he’ll be impacting our players and the ones who serve our players every day,” Tremaglio said.

As well as the one-year ban, Sarver was also fined $10 million following the NBA on Tuesday released its findings from the 10-month independent investigation into allegations of workplace abuse during Sarver’s tenure as managing partner of the Suns which has spanned nearly 2 decades.

The NBA commissioned a study in the wake of an ESPN story in November 2021 detailing allegations of racism and misogyny during Sarver’s 17 years as owner.

Tremaglio told ESPN that she’s expressed her views to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, though it remains unclear if the league’s punishment toward Sarver changes.

“I have no idea how open [Silver] is with regards to attempting to make the change,” Tremaglio said. “I believe it really is our hope that it’ll be clear that Mr. Sarver shouldn’t be able to maintain a position another and become in a managerial position. We’ve heard from other owners. We’ve heard from sponsors, etc. I believe it’s pretty clear that there surely is no expectation from him returning.”

Tremaglio was asked whether there were any conversations with players about boycotting games as training camp approaches.

“We’ve not had those discussions by yet,” Tremaglio said. “We all have been gearing up for a season. … But I believe it is extremely clear our players are incredibly upset in what has occurred. Their hearts venture out to the families and every one of the individuals who’ve actually had to endure this for this type of any period of time of time. But simultaneously they notice that they will have a job to accomplish plus they are really worked up about continue with the growing season.”

Added Tremaglio: “To be honest, I know that people never want our players to stay a posture where they’re unsafe or people that they’re around are unsafe. Mr. Sarver had the opportunity to set the tone at the very top. And for all of us to have people that come in a leadership role impacting the overall game by doing so is detrimental to the success of our players and the safety of our players and that won’t be tolerated.”

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