Robert Sarver was issued a one-year suspension and $10 million fine by the NBA for his racist behavior and mistreatment of women employees in the workplace. The independent investigation detailed many instances of workplace abuse, including multiple uses of the N-word. The evidence in the report made people wonder if Sarver would face a similar punishment to former Clippers owner Donald Sterling, but in a press conference, NBA commissioner Adam Silver defended the punishment and noted that he does not have the authority to force an owner to sell, while others have called out the league for getting it wrong.
The logistics of a forced sale may be thorny, but that still does not explain why anyone in the Suns organization or the league at large would welcome Sarver back to the NBA. Draymond Green discussed the issue on his podcast and has a direct proposal to the owners. Via ESPN:
“It’s a little baffling to me that we’ll walk into the arena next year,” Green said on his podcast. “The Phoenix Suns will walk into the arena next year, he’ll sit on the sideline and we’ll just continue on playing. So the one thing that I am going to need is someone to explain to me why is it that it was OK to get rid of [LA Clippers owner Donald] Sterling, but it’s not possible to force Robert Sarver to sell after what we read?
“… I’m asking 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.”
Green spoke at length about letting Sarver back into the league, saying “this report that came out last week is the total opposite of everything the NBA stands for.”
“To think that someone like Robert Sarver that’s acting in that manner can continue to represent us? That’s bullshit”
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) September 20, 2022
Green hit the nail on the head here. The players and league employees should be able to see where the owners stand on this issue. The report and subsequent punishment do very little to hold Sarver accountable for his workplace behavior, but an owner vote — which would require a three-fourths majority to remove Sarver as an owner — could change that.