Calls for the NBA to oust Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver are getting louder.
Three days after the NBA released a report on the billionaire’s workplace misconduct and disciplined him with a one-year suspension and $10 million fine, National Basketball Players Association executive director Tamika Tremaglio said the players’ union is seeking a lifetime ban from the league. .
Tremaglio previously released a statement calling Sarver’s reported actions “appalling” and saying he should never hold a managerial position in the NBA again. She expanded on those thoughts in an interview with ESPN’s “NBA Today” on Friday:
LeBron James, the Suns minority owner, has criticized Sarver’s punishment
Tremaglio isn’t the only person on the players’ side to take shots at Server, as LeBron James has criticized Server for being too lenient in his discipline, saying his behavior has no place in the NBA. Sun Star and former NBPA president Chris Paul also said the punishment “fell short”.
James and Paul apparently aren’t the only players who think so. Tremaglio said she has had “many conversations” with players since the report was released and found a clear consensus:
The server has come under additional pressure from Sun minority owner Jahm Najafi and longtime Sun sponsor PayPal, both of whom have called for the server to be fired.
The only instances of an NBA owner being banned for life came in 2014 with Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, whose racist comments caught on tape sparked a firestorm over his ban four days later.
Silver, who also handled the Sterling case, defended Sarver’s sentence Wednesday, calling the two situations “dramatically different” and pointing to Sterling’s blatant racism. An NBA investigation found that Server used the N-word at least five times, but only to relay statements from black people, even though Server was told several times that he shouldn’t.
Asked about the possibility of a player boycott against the server, Tremaglio said the idea had not been discussed, but reiterated that the players were upset that the server had been allowed to keep their teams.