National Basketball Players Association executive director Tamika Tremaglio issued a statement on Wednesday night regarding Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury owner Robert Sarver. In addition to condemning Sarver’s actions as “deplorable,” Tremaglio stated she wants Sarver banned from the league.
Tremaglio’s full statement:
Yesterday the NBA released the findings from the independent investigation by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz involving Suns Governor Robert Sarver.
Mr. Sarver’s reported actions and conduct are horrible and have no place in our sport or any workplace for that matter.
Additionally, the investigation confirmed that Mr. Sarver’s deplorable behavoir did not just come to light in November 2021. In fact, the report indicated Mr. Sarver’s long history of inappropriate conduct, including racial and gender insensitivity, misogyny and harrassment. All issues that led to a toxic work environment for well over a decade.
I have made my position known to Adam Silver regarding my thoughts on the extent of the punishment, and strongly believe that Mr. Sarver should never hold a managerial position within our league again.
The NBA opened an investigation into Sarver’s conduct last November, and over the course of nearly a year 320 people were interviewed and 80,000 documents were examined. Among other findings, the league determined that Sarver used the N-word on five separate occasions, engaged in instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees, and engaged in demeaning and harsh treatment of employees.
But unlike former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was forced to sell his team in 2014 after a racist incident, Sarver was allowed to retain ownership of the Suns and Mercury. As punishment for his actions, the league suspended Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million.
Tremaglio is not the only key figure in the league upset about the NBA’s decision. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James also spoke out, saying, “Read through the Sarver stories a few times now. I gotta be honest. Our league definitely got this wrong.”