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Chris Paul Says NBA's Punishment of Suns Governor Robert Sarver 'Fell Short'

Doric SamSeptember 15, 2022

Brian Stukes/Getty Images

Phoenix Suns star point guard Chris Paul voiced his thoughts on managing partner Robert Sarver, and like many, the veteran floor general believes he should've been facing a stiffer penalty than a one-year suspension and a $10 million fine.

Paul took to Twitter and said he believes the league's punishment "fell short":

Chris Paul @CP3

I am of the view that the sanctions fell short in truly addressing what we can all agree was atrocious behavior. My heart goes out to all of the people that were affected.

Sarver was investigated after a November 2021 report by ESPN's Baxter Holmes revealed multiple allegations of racism and misogynistic behavior during his time with the Suns. On Tuesday, the NBA announced sanctions for Sarver after the investigation determined he "engaged in conduct that clearly violated common workplace standards":

NBA Communications @NBAPR

The NBA today issued the following statement: <a href="https://t.co/jjlBK771PT">pic.twitter.com/jjlBK771PT</a>

The law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz conducted the independent investigation, holding interviews with 320 people and reviewing more than 80,000 documents. The findings were released on Tuesday in a 43-page report, revealing damning allegations against Sarver.

It was determined that Sarver "said the N-word in repeating or purporting to repeat a Black person on at least five occasions during his tenure, including after being advised not to do so" and "made many sex-related comments in the workplace."

In addition, the investigation found that he "made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women" and "frequently engaged in demeaning and harsh treatment of employees—including by yelling and cursing at them."

Despite the abhorrent revelations, Sarver has been allowed to keep his position with the Suns. Many had expected a penalty similar to the one received by former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was banned from the league and fined $2.5 million after he was heard on tape making racist comments in 2014.

However, NBA commissioner Adam Silver stood by the league's punishment for Sarver when he spoke to reporters on Wednesday. Silver said Sterling was guilty of "blatant racist conduct directed at a select group of people," while Sarver's comments were "beyond the pale" but "wholly of a different kind" than Sterling's.

Paul was also a member of the Clippers during the Sterling controversy. He didn't hold back addressing the situation back then, and he even threatened to boycott the season if Sterling remained the owner. Paul is the unquestioned leader of the Suns and could push for a protest of some sort during the upcoming season.

The 37-year-old wasn't the only star player to voice his opinion on the league's handling of Sarver. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James said on Twitter he felt "our league definitely got this wrong."

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