Warriors

Draymond pushes for vote on Sarver's future as Suns owner

Warriors

Robert Sarver, the owner of the Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, was suspended for one year and fined $10 million following a nearly year-long investigation into allegations of racism and misogyny during his 17 years as owner. 

But Draymond Green wants more

At the very least, the Warriors' star forward wants others to have a say on Sarver’s fate

"I'm asking that there be a vote," Green said on his podcast "The Draymond Green Show” on Tuesday. “If that’s the only way, then let’s see what those numbers are. Let’s see what they are.” 

The vote Green is referring to stems from Article 13 of the NBA constitution, which states that such a vote allows the league to terminate an owner by a three-fourths vote among other owners. 

It was the same tactic that helped NBA commissioner Adam Silver quickly and definitively get rid of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in 2014. 

And as the Sterling situation unfolded during the Warriors’ 2014 first-round playoff series against the Clippers, Green was involved in the near-boycott at an up-close level. 

"It's a little baffling to me that we'll walk into the arena next year," Green said. "The Phoenix Suns will walk into the arena next year, [Server] will 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 Sterling, but it's not possible to force Robert Sarver to sell after what we read?” 

 

The investigation found that Sarver “repeated the N-word when recounting the statements of others”, made inappropriate sex-related comments and engaged in harsh treatment of employees, including unequal treatment of female employees, among other findings. 

"To get suspended for one year and fined $10 million, I mean, the only way you get suspended for one year and fined $10 million is if you are the owner of an asset and you can't be fired," Green said. "Because I think anyone else in the NBA who -- and especially from a front-office standpoint, like maybe not a player, although we've seen players get thrown out of the league for less -- would 1,000% be fired if half of the things that came out of the investigation into Robert Sarver came out about anyone else."

Under the one-year suspension, Sarver is not allowed around any NBA or WNBA facility or able to participate in any NBA or WNBA events or activities. 

But Green, and many other NBA players, are pushing for Sarver to sell the teams he's owned for almost two decades. 

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James criticized the NBA on its ruling, stating the league "definitely got this wrong" and emphasized there's no place for that kind of behavior in the NBA. 

Suns guard Chris Paul also weighed into the conversation that hit close to home for him.

"Like many others, I reviewed the report. I was and am horrified and disappointed by what I read," Paul said. “This conduct especially towards women is unacceptable and must never be repeated. I am of the view that the sanctions fell short in truly addressing what we can all agree was atrocious behavior. My heart goes out to all of the people that were affected.”

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And if his one-year suspension turns out to be exactly that -- a one-year absence -- Green wondered if things would just awkwardly return to "normal" as if the investigation never happened. 

"To think that someone like Robert Sarver that's acting in that manner can continue to represent us? That's bulls---," Green said. "You can't continue to represent way more people than yourself with those views, with speaking to people the way he did, with treating African Americans and women the way he has, that's not OK.

"This guy gets to just come back in the fold as if he's still representing us? And as if he's a part of us? That can't be so. Because for us, especially as African Americans, I'm uncomfortable, I'm very uncomfortable. And knowing that, in that position, you could just essentially do whatever you want, and because you own an asset, you can't be punished?"

 

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