Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green criticized the NBA’s punishment of Robert Sarver, the owner of the Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, following its investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct against him and his organization, calling it “absolutely insane.”
“It’s absolutely insane that Robert Sarver’s is going to receive a one-year ban and $10 million fine and just return to the sidelines next year and return to the building next year,” Green said during an episode on his podcast, “The Draymond Green Show.”
Green, a four-time NBA champion with the Warriors, added that Sarver’s initial punishment goes against what he said the league stands for — inclusion and diversity — and stands against — bigotry and racism.
In recent years, the NBA has publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement, painting the slogan on its courts during its “bubble” season in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic and national uprising and protests in the aftermath of high-profile killings of Black Americans.
“And so to think that someone like Robert Sarver, that’s acting in that manner, can continue to represent us — that’s bullshit,” Green added. “It can’t continue to represent way more people than yourself with those views, speaking to people with the way he did, with treating African Americans and women the way he has. That’s not okay.”
Green’s response comes a week after the league suspended Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million after its investigation found he used a racial slur on at least five occasions over the course of 18 years and engaged in inappropriate conduct with female and male employees.
The league launched its investigation last year after ESPN published a story in which dozens of sources alleged Sarver had engaged in racist and misogynistic behavior during his tenure as Suns owner.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at a press conference a day after the punishment that the conduct found in the league’s investigation was “indefensible” but that he felt the league handled Sarver’s punishment in a “fair manner.”
Green’s remarks follow those of other NBA stars such as Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Suns guard Chris Paul, who have also shared their displeasure with the league’s punishment of Sarver.
Others have also been critical of the punishment, including Suns Vice Chairman Jahm Najafi, who called for Sarver to sell his stake in the team, and PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, who threatened to end the company’s sponsorship of the team if Sarver wasn’t removed as owner.