Golden State Warriors All-Star forward Draymond Green called on NBA owners to vote to end Robert Sarver’s position as owner of the Phoenix Suns.
“I’m asking for a vote,” Green said in the podcast “The Draymond Green Show,” published Tuesday.
The rules of the league require a three-quarter vote of the board of governors to remove an owner.
“It’s a bit baffling to me that we’re walking into the arena next year,” Green said in his podcast. “The Phoenix Suns will walk into the arena next year, he’ll sit on the sidelines and we’ll just keep playing. So all I need is someone to explain to me why 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 ask for a vote. If that’s the only way, let’s see what those numbers are. Let’s see what they are.”
Sarver, who is also the majority owner of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, was suspended for a year last week and fined $10 million last week after investigations found he had used the N-word at least five times “when it was called.” telling the statements of others’.
Sarver was also involved in “cases of unjust behavior towards female employees,” including “sex-related comments” and inappropriate comments about employees’ appearance.
Silver banned Sterling for life, although NBA owners never voted to end his position as owner. The Clippers were eventually sold.
Green said the league penalty just wasn’t enough for Sarver, and players “have been kicked out of the league for less”.
“To get suspended for a year and fined $10 million, I mean, the only way you can get suspended for a year and fined $10 million is if you own a property and you can’t be fired,” said Green. “Because I think anyone in the NBA who — and especially from a front office standpoint, might not be a player, even though we’ve seen players kicked out of the league for less — would be fired 1000% if half of the things that happened. came out of the investigation into Robert Sarver, came out about someone else.”
The NBA ordered an investigation following an ESPN story in November 2021 detailing allegations of racism and misogyny during Sarver’s 17 years as an owner.
Sarver was found to have used the N-word at least five times “to repeat or pretend to repeat what a black person said – four of them after being told by both black and white subordinates that he was not allowed to use the word, even in repetition of another,” according to the NBA report.
“No. 1, if you use the N-word to re-describe something someone said or” [are] tell a story someone told you or [you are] using the word because someone else did it — stop,” Green said. “That’s ridiculous. Because the comfort level you must have to even use the word again doesn’t validate whether it makes it OK for Robert Sarver to use the N-word.”
Green wondered how someone like Sarver could lead an organization whose success has “virtually been built on the backs of African Americans.”
“If he comes back next year, because it’s only been a year, will everything just go back to normal?” asked Green. “Should those guys see everything they’ve just seen and heard? Do those guys have to feel comfortable working with this guy?”
Green praised Silver for “the stances they’ve taken over the years,” but said the outcome of this investigation “wasn’t up to what it should have been.”
“To think that someone like Robert Sarver who acts like that can continue to represent us? Those are bulls—,” Green said. “You can’t go on representing a lot more people than yourself with those views, talking to people like he did, treating African Americans and women like he did, that’s not okay.
“This guy just comes back into the fold like he’s still representing us? And like he’s a part of us? It can’t be. Because for us, especially as African Americans, I feel uncomfortable, I’m feeling very uncomfortable for me. And knowing that in that position you can just do whatever you want, and because you own a property, you can’t be punished?”