Warriors' Draymond Green torches NBA handling of Robert Sarver scandal: 'Bulls—t'

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors talks with media during a press conference after the 104-94 win against the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center on June 13, 2022.?

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors talks with media during a press conference after the 104-94 win against the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center on June 13, 2022.?

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Suns owner Robert Sarver heaped racial and gender abuse on his employees, using the N-word at least five times and sexually harassing several employees, the NBA revealed last week after a nearly year-long investigation. ESPN first reported allegations of racism and misogyny last November. But the league office last week let Sarver off with a relative slap on the wrist: a one-year suspension and $10 million fine.

Add Draymond Green to the growing chorus of player voices who are clearly unsatisfied with the punishment. "Our league definitely got this wrong," LeBron James said last week. "There is no place in this league for that kind of behavior."

Tamika Tremaglio, the NBA Players Association's executive director, called for Sarver to be banned from the league, like Donald Sterling was in 2014. On an episode of his podcast released Tuesday, the Warriors forward all but agreed.

"To think that someone like Robert Sarver that's acting in that manner can continue to represent us? That's bulls—t," Green said. "You can't continue to represent way more people than yourself with those views, with speaking to people the way he did, with treating African Americans and women the way he has, that's not OK."

Green subtly responded to accounts of Sarver's racism when they were first reported in 2021, joking "But I was fined??" The comments on Tuesday's podcast episode were by far his most extensive on the situation, and it's clear that Green, like many of his peers, is?unsatisfied with the league's response.

"The only way you get suspended for one year and fined $10 million is if you are the owner of an asset and you can't be fired," Green said. "I think anyone that's an employee of an NBA team, not NBA player, although you could possibly throw us in there as well, would 1,000% be fired for doing half of the things that came out of the investigation into Robert Sarver."

Green directly addressed the investigation's findings that Sarver "repeated the N-word when recounting the statements of others." He dispelled any notion that Sarver, who is white, could be excused because he was?supposedly repeating the words of someone else.

"No. 1, if you use the N-word to re-describe something that someone said or [are] telling a story that someone has told you or [you are] using the word, because someone else did — stop it," Green said. "That's ridiculous. Because the level of comfort that you have to have to even use the word again does not validate or make it OK for Robert Sarver to use the N-word." The NBA claimed that despite finding several clear examples of racism and misogyny, "The investigation made no finding that Mr. Sarver’s workplace misconduct was motivated by racial or gender-based animus."

Green stopped short of directly demanding Sarver's ouster, instead suggesting the other 29 owners could vote on Sarver's status. "[For] him to be kicked out as an owner and forced to sell, that vote would have to fall on two-thirds of the other owners," Green said. "So what I would say is why don't we pose a vote?" he asked.

Green acknowledged that Silver claimed he had levied the maximum allowable punishment in his power. "I saw where Silver said 'I've taken the steps that I can take,'" Green said. After all, Green pondered, "Why is it that it was OK to get rid of Sterling, but it's not possible to force Robert Sarver to sell?" He seems to miss that Silver's job as commissioner is to read the room of the NBA's owners and act accordingly. If Silver thought the vast majority of owners wanted to oust Sarver, he would have done it already.