The NBA has been ruined by politics.
Ratings have tumbled for various reasons, but “woke” is at the forefront.
Now LeBron James said something about one owner that will leave you speechless.
Last year, Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury owner Robert Sarver was the target of a lengthy ESPN hit piece detailing overblown accusations of racism and sexism.
As a result, an investigation into his alleged misconduct was launched.
After the probe was completed, the NBA suspended Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million.
The NBA wrote in a statement:
“Mr. Sarver, on at least five occasions during his tenure with the Suns/Mercury organization, repeated the N-word when recounting the statements of others. Mr. Sarver engaged in instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees, made many sex-related comments in the workplace, made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women, and on several occasions engaged in inappropriate physical conduct toward male employees. Mr. Sarver engaged in demeaning and harsh treatment of employees, including by yelling and cursing at them.”
So Sarver was not using the N-word in a racist context, but that was enough to get him branded as a racist despite the fact he has a black head coach and general manager.
The other comments that got Sarver in trouble amounted to locker room talk over the course of 18 years.
However, the truly shocking aspect of the story is not Sarver’s suspension, but the fact people are attempting to run him out of the league entirely.
One of those people is Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
Upon hearing the news that Sarver “only” got a one-year suspension and a hefty fine, James said, “Read through the Sarver stories a few times now. 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.”
Chris Paul, point guard for the Suns and close friend of James, dogpiled on Sarver and said that the NBA “fell short in truly addressing what we can all agree was atrocious behavior. Like many others, I reviewed the report. I was and am horrified and disappointed by what I read. This conduct especially towards women is unacceptable and must never be repeated…My heart goes out to all of the people that were affected.”
Meanwhile, James, Paul, and all the other stars of the league have remained silent about the abuses of the Chinese Communist Party because the NBA and Nike make too much money in China for them to speak out.
There are only 30 NBA teams, and they don’t go on sale often.
It seems clear that somebody wants to buy an NBA team, and Sarver looks like an easy mark to replace.
If Sarver is forced out, it will be interesting to see what ownership group emerges.