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NBPA calls for lifetime suspension of Suns owner Robert Sarver

NBA Players’ Union (NBPA) executive director Tamika Tremaglio said Friday that she called for a lifetime suspension of Phoenix Suns majority shareholder Robert Sarver after the league imposed a one-year suspension for making racist and misogynistic comments.

Tremaglio said he spoke on behalf of NBA players to publicly condemn Sarver’s remarks:

“We are absolutely calling for that lifetime suspension. We don’t want him to be in a position where he’s managing or interacting with people associated with our players, from the findings that are in the report that we don’t want him to be in that position,” he said in an interview with ESPN.

Tremaglio’s stance came after LeBron James, and Suns point guard Chris Paul, wrote messages on their Twitter accounts lamenting that a larger penalty was not imposed on Sarver.

“While we understand that there has been a thorough investigation and we are very pleased that the NBA was able to proceed with it, I also want to make it very clear that we do not want him to ever again be in a position where he will impact our players and those who serve our players on a daily basis,” Tamika Tremaglio said.

In addition to the suspension, Sarver also received a $10 million fine after the NBA revealed the results of the independent investigation that took 19 months to clear up allegations of workplace abuse during Sarver’s tenure as managing partner of the Suns that has spanned nearly two decades.

The NBA commissioned the investigation after a newspaper investigation emerged in November 2021 detailing Sarver’s racist and mosogynistic behaviors as Suns owner over 17 years.

Players’ stance on Sarver’s conduct.

Tremaglio explained that he spoke with NBA commissioner Adam Silver about the players’ views, although it is unclear whether they will serve to stiffen the punishment against Sarver.

“I don’t know how open Adam Silver is in terms of wanting to make the change. I think we would hope that it would be very clear that Mr. Sarver should not be in a position to come back and take a management position. We’ve heard from other owners. We’ve heard from sponsors, et cetera. I think it’s pretty clear that there’s no expectation of him coming back,” Tremaglio said.

Finally he was questioned if there were any plans by the players to boycott games as training camp approaches, edging the NBA to be tougher:

“We haven’t had those discussions, so far. We’re all preparing for a season,” he said.

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