Up until Sunday, Stephen Curry had been radio silent on the revelations that Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver was sexist and racist. But, during the Golden State Warriors media day on Sunday, the 4-time NBA champion revealed how he felt about the NBA’s punishment for the disgraced owner and shared that he spoke with NBA commissioner Adam Silver directly.
Curry said, “[I] got [Silver’s] point of view of what decisions and, I guess, mechanisms he had to intervene and bring down a punishment that was worthy of the actions that we were all responding to and representing the league as a whole and protecting the integrity of the league and the standard that we set terms of from execs, ownership, all the way down to players.”
He continued, “There should be a standard around what’s tolerable and what’s not. The outcome was exactly what it should’ve been. I thought with the punishment that was handed down it would’ve dragged out a little longer.”
Curry joined a list of other NBA stars speaking on the Sarver situation including LeBron James, Chris Paul and Draymond Green. They all agreed that the punishment handed down by the league was not enough.
Unless you’ve been under a rock, the NBA essentially gave Sarver a slap on the wrist for his behavior which included a suspension for one year, a $10 million fine and required him to complete a training program on appropriate workplace conduct.
It clearly was not enough and criticism aimed toward the NBA and Sarver started to pile up shortly after the suspension was announced.
Last week, blaming an “unforgiving climate,” Sarver announced his intentions to sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, which is the outcome that everyone who enjoys the NBA should have wanted.
While it’s upsetting that the NBA did not come to this conclusion itself, it is encouraging that the players took the initiative to use their large platforms to speak out against Sarver and NBA to make it known that “this ain’t it.”
Just like former Clippers Owner Donald Sterling, if someone is proven to have said and done racist things, they should not be involved in the league, no questions asked.
Although I was frustrated with the NBA’s punishment, I’m glad the league has empowered players to speak their minds, even if their thoughts don’t align with the league’s. Without the voices of some of the most visible players in the NBA (Green, Paul, James) I’m not sure Sarver would have given us the result the league desperately needed.
But he did, and as a result, the NBA is a better league with Sarver not involved in it.