LeBron on Sarver punishment: ‘league definitely got this wrong’

LeBron on Sarver punishment: ‘league definitely got this wrong’

Apr 1, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) warms up before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Sept 14 (Reuters) – Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James criticized the NBA on Wednesday and said the punishment given to Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver for using racial slurs and treating female employees inequitably was not harsh enough.

Sarver, who bought the Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury in 2004, was suspended by the NBA for one year and fined $10 million on Tuesday after an independent investigation into allegations over workplace misconduct. read more

James, a four-time NBA champion and the face of the league, said he read through details of the Sarver story a few times and feels the league should have no tolerance for such behavior regardless of the offender’s status.

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“Our league definitely got this wrong. I don’t have to explain why. James posted on Twitter, “Y’all read and decide for yourselves.” “I’ve said it before, and I’m going to repeat it again, this league is not for such behavior.

“I love this league and I deeply respect our leadership. This is wrong. In any workplace, there is no place for racism, sexism, or misogyny. It doesn’t matter if the team is owned or if you play for it. Our league is an example of our values, and we hold it up as such. “

Sarver released a statement after the punishment was handed down and said he disagreed with some of the particulars of the NBA report but wanted to apologize for his words and actions that offended employees.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, speaking to reporters after the league’s Board of Governors meetings concluded on Wednesday, indicated that Sarver’s punishment could have been stiffer had investigators not determined that his use of slurs was not motivated by racial or gender-based animus.

“It was relevant,” Silver said of the committee’s conclusion. “I believe that if they had found that he was motivated by racial animus then that would have had an impact upon the final outcome. They didn’t find that. “

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Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto. Editing by Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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