Report: Jazz's Dennis Lindsey Investigated by NBA over Alleged Bigoted Remarks

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 26, 2021

Utah Jazz guard Elijah Millsap brings the ball down court during a game against the Oklahoma Thunder in the second half during an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, in Salt Lake City. The Thunder defeated the Jazz 111-89. (AP Photo/George Frey)
George Frey/Associated Press

The NBA is investigating executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey after ex-Jazz guard Elijah Millsap claimed Lindsey made bigoted remarks during an exit interview six years ago, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Jazz are cooperating with the investigation, per Wojnarowski, who relayed a statement from the team sent via email Thursday:

"The Jazz organization has zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior of any kind. We take these matters seriously. We have proactively engaged outside counsel to work in coordination with the NBA to thoroughly investigate this matter. We seek a comprehensive and unbiased review of the situation." Jazz released statement via email moments ago."

Wojnarowski also revealed that Utah has hired counsel outside the organization to help the NBA's review: "Sources: Jazz retained outside counsel to assist the league in its review of the matter. Utah officials, including Lindsey, encouraged the league office’s opening of a review of the Millsap accusations lodged on social media Wednesday night."

Millsap made the allegations in a series of tweets Wednesday.

Elijah @Elijah_Millsap

I believe “Truth” is the key to human evolution and must be shared to continually “Empower” the human consciousness of the people being oppressed.

Elijah @Elijah_Millsap

It’s an honor to stand up for what is right in any capacity...Hundreds of thousands of beautiful black lives massacred for Truth, Freedom, and Justice. Damn right it sticks with you, but with Truth it will never overtake me again.

Elijah @Elijah_Millsap

Grateful to God for giving me strength along this path, and our ancestors for paving the way– showing us how to peacefully protect, and stand up for our rights. #Soulsdontbreak

Lindsey released a line to Sarah Todd of the Deseret News regarding the allegation: "I categorically deny making that statement."

When asked about the alleged remarks following Utah's win over the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday, Snyder said: "Honestly, I don’t remember the conversation. I can’t fathom Dennis saying something like that."

Millsap played for the Jazz during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

Per Wojnarowski, the review will contain a detailed look at meeting notes written following the conversation, which reportedly occurred with Millsap, Snyder, Lindsey and then-assistant general manager Justin Zanik.

Zanik has since been promoted to general manager and was reportedly responsible for taking those notes.

Wojnarowski wrote more on how those notes will be reviewed:

"Those meeting notes were entered into a team database and forensic investigators can determine whether they’ve been altered or updated in any way, sources said. Since Lindsey's hiring in 2012, Jazz have taken detailed notes on each end-of-season meeting held with players."

Jazz center Rudy Gobert was asked about Millsap's remarks, and he gave this response, per Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune.

Eric Walden @tribjazz

Rudy Gobert, on Elijah Millsap's accusation toward Dennis Lindsey: "I was close to Elijah, but I never heard about that." Said he just found out about it and is reaching out to Millsap, looking for more clarity on the situation. "It was 6 years ago, it's tough to understand."

Todd spoke with Millsap regarding his allegations and revealed the commentary in a series of tweets Thursday:

Sarah Todd @NBASarah

was not to paint Dennis Lindsey as a racist, "I don't believe he's a racist. I was highlighting the remarks." Millsap's hope is that by sharing his own experience it will benefit others, possibly start conversations even if they're hard...2/4

Sarah Todd @NBASarah

Much more coming in full story later today 4/4


She also tweeted this remark later in the day.

"In speaking with Elijah Millsap, he said he was disappointed that Lindsey denied it so quickly," Todd tweeted. "Even if it's not what they remember, Millsap felt that it would have been right for them to reach out to him and address what he considers to be a hurtful experience rather than deny."

Millsap played professionally from 2010-2019, with his other NBA experience occurring with the Phoenix Suns during the 2016-17 campaign.

He is the brother of Denver Nuggets forward (and ex-Jazz forward) Paul Millsap, who played in Utah from 2006-2013.

Lindsey was Utah's general manager from 2012-2019 before earning a promotion to his current vice president title in 2019.