WNBPA to NBA, WNBA commissioners on Robert Sarver: It is never too late to do the right thing




 

In a letter to NBA and WNBA commissioners Adam Silver and Cathy Engelbert, the WNBA Players Association is asking to meet with the two to discuss the NBA's investigation into Robert Sarver.

Sarver, the majority owner of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix, received a one-year suspension and a $10 million fine after a 10-month investigation for ''workplace misconduct and organizational deficiencies."

"It is our understanding that neither the WNBA nor the members of our union, WNBA players, were part of the investigation," the players association executive committee wrote in the letter. "Nonetheless, we, like so many others, were compelled to read the full report. Upon engaging in thoughtful discussion and reflection, we have determined to provide the following response and request a formal meeting with the two of you and those you deem appropriate for the conversation."

The union's executive committee also wants information on who will benefit from the $10 million fine and added, "it is never too late to do the right thing with respect to Mr. Sarver's involvement" in the WNBA and NBA.

OPINION: The NBA's Robert Sarver situation spotlights the ugly side of sports

"As Commissioners, you recognize that Black athletes comprise at least 80% of your respective leagues in any given season," the union committee continued. "And you celebrate the Suns organization employing more people of color than any other organization. Yet, you seen to have accepted the use of a regressive animus framework to determine a white owner's (and member of your Board of Governors) intention behind using the n-word publicly at work.

"You represent leagues that advocate for gender and health equity. Yet, your leagues support a decision that appears to cast a man's financial support of a WNBA organization as a counterweight to his preoccupation with subordinating the women at the work around him (at times because of the very reproductive freedom for which your leagues advocate). Expressing disbelief and sadness at the findings of the Report is not enough."

The union's executive committee concluded their letter to Silver and Engelbert by stating the NBA "missed the mark" on their decision and that both leagues should "reconsider the responsibility" they owe the players and their families and the role Sarver had in the professional environment.

"To us, that role require much more."

Contact Analis Bailey at aabailey@usatoday.com or on Twitter @analisbailey.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: WNBPA asks NBA, WNBA for formal meeting on Robert Sarver

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