Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has asked NBA owners to hold a vote to end Robert Sarver’s position as owner of the Phoenix Suns.
“I’m asking for a vote,” Green said on “The Draymond Green Show” podcast, published Tuesday.
League rules require a three-quarter vote of the board of governors to remove an owner.
“It’s a little disconcerting to me that we’re going to enter the arena next year,” Green said on his podcast. “The Phoenix Suns will enter the arena next year, he will sit on the sideline and we will continue to play. So the only thing I’m going to need is for someone to explain to me why it was OK to get rid of. [LA Clippers owner Donald] Sterling, but isn’t it possible to force Robert Sarver to sell after what we’ve read?
“…I’m asking for a vote. If that’s the only way, then 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 and fined $10 million last week after an investigation found he used the N-word at least five times” when recounting statements from other people”.
Sarver was also involved in “examples of unequal conduct towards female employees”, including “sex-related comments” and inappropriate comments about the appearance of female employees.
Silver banned Sterling for life, although a vote was never taken among NBA owners to end his position as owner. The Clippers were eventually sold.
Green said the league’s punishment for Sarver was not enough and that the players were “kicked out of the league for less”.
“To be suspended for a year and fined $10 million, I mean, the only way you can be suspended for a year and fined $10 million is if you own an asset and you can’t be fired.” , said Green. “Because I think any other person in the NBA who — and especially from a front-office perspective, as maybe not a player, even though we’ve seen players getting kicked out of the league for less — would be 1,000% fired if half of the stuff that came out of the investigation into Robert Sarver came to light about anyone else.”
The NBA ordered an investigation following an ESPN report 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 “when repeating or intending to repeat what a black person said – four of them after being told by black and white subordinates that he should not use the word, even in repetition of another,” said the NBA report.
“Number 1, if you use the N word to redescribe something someone said or [are] tell a story someone has told you or [you are] using the word, because somebody did — stop it,” Green said. “That’s ridiculous. Because the comfort level you need to have to use the word again doesn’t validate or make it OK for Robert Sarver to use the N-word.”
Green questioned how someone like Sarver could lead an organization whose success “is practically built on the backs of African Americans.”
“When he comes back next year, because it’s only a year, will everything go back to normal?” Green asked. “Should these guys unsee everything they’ve seen and heard? Should these guys feel comfortable continuing to work with this guy?”
Green praised Silver for “the positions they’ve taken over the years”, but said the outcome of this investigation “kind of fell short of what it should be”.
“To think that someone like Robert Sarver who is acting this way can continue to represent us? That’s bullshit—,” Green said. “You can’t go on representing many more people than yourself with those views, talking to people the way he did, treating African Americans and women the way he has, that’s not right.
“Can this guy come back into the fold like he’s still representing us? And like he’s a part of us? This can’t be like that. Because for us, especially as African Americans, I’m uncomfortable, I’m very uncomfortable. And knowing that, in that position, you can basically do whatever you want, and since you own an asset, you can’t be punished?