NBA commissioner Adam Silver says 'I don't have the right to take away' Phoenix Suns from owner Robert Sarver


NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Wednesday said the one-year suspension he gave to Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver for making racist and misogynist remarks could have been longer, but that he didn't "have the right to take away his team." While Silver said Sarver was "on notice" in terms of future behavior, the key conclusion from the five-member committee that spent nine months working on the investigation was that Sarver's use of slurs was not motivated "by racial or gender-based animus." The NBA on Tuesday announced Sarver would receive a $10 million fine and a one-year suspension in the wake of an ESPN story in November 2021 detailing allegations of racism and misogyny during Sarver's 17 years as owner. "It was relevant," Silver said of the committee's conclusion. "I think if they had made findings that, in fact, his conduct was motivated by racial animus, absolutely that would have had an impact on the ultimate outcome here. But that's not what they found." EDITOR'S PICKS LeBron: NBA 'definitely got' Sarver decision wrong 6hDave McMenamin Suns owner Sarver suspended 1 year, fined $10M 2dBaxter Holmes Allegations of racism and misogyny within the Phoenix Suns: Inside Robert Sarver's 17-year tenure as owner 2dBaxter Holmes And for that reason, Silver handed down the maximum fine allowed by the league. But he said the lack of racial animus was why the suspension for Sarver was just for a full calendar year and not more. "I have certain authority by virtue of this organization, and that's what I exercise," Silver said. "I don't have the right to take away his team. I don't want to rest on that legal point because of course there could be a process to take away someone's team in this league. It's very involved, and I ultimately made the decision that it didn't rise to that level. But, to me, the consequences are severe here on Mr. Sarver."