LeBron James on Robert Sarver ruling: NBA 'definitely got this wrong'

LeBron James
LeBron James criticized the NBA for its lenient ruling on Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver.

LeBron James criticized the NBA on Wednesday for the league's lenient disciplinary action on Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver.

Sarver received a one-year suspension and a league-maximum $10 million fine Tuesday following allegations of making racist and misogynist remarks during his tenure as owner of the Suns and WNBA's Phoenix Mercury.

James spoke out on Twitter about the league's ruling.

"Read through the Sarver stories a few times now," James tweeted. "I gotta be honest...Our league definitely got this wrong. I don't need to explain why. Y'all read the stories and decide for yourself. I said it before and I'm gonna say it again, there is no place in this league for that kind of behavior. I love this league and I deeply respect our leadership. But this isn't right. There is no place for misogyny, sexism, and racism in any work place. Don't matter if you own the team or play for the team. We hold our league up as an example of our values and this aint it."

The NBA commissioned an independent investigation in the wake of a 2021 ESPN.com article regarding Sarver's behavior. The league released a statement Tuesday saying Sarver “engaged in conduct that clearly violated common workplace standards, as reflected in team and League rules and policies.  This conduct included the use of racially insensitive language; unequal treatment of female employees; sex-related statements and conduct; and harsh treatment of employees that on occasion constituted bullying.”


The investigation found that Sarver "repeated the N-word when recounting the statements of others" at least five times, made inappropriate sex-related comments and engaged in harsh treatment of employees, among other findings.

James is one of many who expressed concern over the lack of severity in Sarver's punishment, with some believing he should be forced to sell the team. 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said earlier Wednesday that Sarver's suspension was not longer than a full calendar year due to a lack of racial animus.

"I have certain authority by virtue of this organization, and that's what I exercise," Silver said. "I don't have the right to take away his team. I don't want to rest on that legal point because of course there could be a process to take away someone's team in this league. It's very involved, and I ultimately made the decision that it didn't rise to that level. But, to me, the consequences are severe here on Mr. Sarver."