NBA, Jazz Couldn't Confirm Elijah Millsap's Allegation of Racist Remarks

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

Utah Jazz guard Elijah Millsap (13) drives around Boston Celtics guard Marcus Thornton (4) in the third quarter during an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, in Salt Lake City. The Celtics won 99-90. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

The NBA announced Monday it completed a joint investigation with the Utah Jazz into an allegation by former Jazz guard Elijah Millsap that executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey made a racist comment during the team's 2015 exit interviews.

In February, Millsap alleged on Twitter that Lindsey said, "If [you] say one more word, I'll cut your Black ass and send you back to Louisiana."

"The investigation was unable to establish that the alleged statement was made," the NBA announcement read. It also explained what went into the probe:

"As part of the investigative process, all participants involved in the 2015 meeting were interviewed and given the opportunity to provide any relevant evidence, including both Millsap and Lindsey. The investigation also involved other parties who might have been in a position to corroborate the allegation, and the review of meeting notes of the exit interview and other pertinent information."

"I categorically deny making that statement," Lindsey told Sarah Todd of the Deseret News last month.

Millsap previously expressed doubt to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press about whether the investigation could accurately confirm the details of a private meeting from six years ago.

"Obviously, I know my truth," he said. "Some outside counsel or somebody, all they can do is just try to stir it up and make it me look as if I'm lying. I did it basically to free myself from the torture of holding things in, to free myself, not to make Dennis Lindsey feel bad and not to make him look like a racist. I don't feel he is a racist, but I do know what he said to me."

Jazz head coach Quin Snyder, who was in the meeting, said after the investigation was launched he'd never heard Lindsey make a racist remark, per Reynolds.

"I've never heard anything remotely close to that from Dennis," Snyder said. "I haven't heard anything, like I said, remotely close to that and know him and his character. And I also think that if something like that were ever said, I'm sensitive to those issues and I would remember it."

Millsap returned to the Jazz for the start of the 2015-16 season, but he was released in January 2016.

He's since played in Israel, the Philippines and Spain along with time in the NBA G League. He also had a brief two-game stint with the Phoenix Suns during the 2016-17 season.