Draymond Green rightly calls out NBA ‘double standards’ hypocrisy

As the NBA investigates the allegedly toxic work culture of the Phoenix Suns led by CEO Robert Sarver, Warriors forward Draymond Green has a simple request:

Treat those at the top of a franchise as you would treat those on the field.

“I don’t know where the investigation starts. I don’t know where it ends. I don’t know who you’re talking to; it’s none of my business,” Green said Friday after a shooting at Chase Center. “But what I hope is that there is no double standard in this competition, and the same thing that applies to us players should apply to everyone.

On the honesty meter, Draymond’s plea is at 100. And if there’s an undercurrent of skepticism, it’s right. Aside from former Clippers owner Donald Sterling, whose long history of racism eventually exceeded the league’s tolerance and warranted a life ban in 2014, punishment for team governors rarely goes beyond a fine.

For example, in March 2020, Mavericks Governor Mark Cuban was fined $500,000 for public criticism and displaying harmful behavior towards officials. Cuban, according to the NBA, unleashed comments that were “highly critical, personal and demeaning to the league and its officiating staff.”

Although Cuban has paid more than $3 million in fines, he was only suspended twice — both times by then-Commissioner David Stern more than 20 years ago. Cuban is a regular at all Mavericks games.

Discipline imposed on players often results in fines and suspension, as Green himself has experienced. His suspension from Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals banned him from being in Oracle Arena during the game.

That memory still triggers Draymond, further explaining his sensitivity to the matter.

“I’m not a researcher, so I don’t really know what to look at,” he said, referring to the investigation Sarver and the Suns have to face. “I don’t even know how to start the investigation. It’s not really my area of ​​expertise.

“But I do wonder if I would be examined for something, could I still be around the team? Would I still be able to come to the games free? Would I still be able to practice freely?

“I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that question because I’ve never been here in a situation where someone is being investigated for something like that. But I do know what I’m thinking, and I’m not sure I’d be sitting here after I talked to you when I was examined.’

RELATED: Draymond Responds to ‘Wildfire’ Claims Against Suns Owner

Draymond isn’t the only player keeping an eye on what’s happening in Phoenix. Everyone who is affiliated with the NBA, every employee at every level, is watching. Players have been whispering for years about the disparate penalties given to players and top managers.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has worked very hard to become a kinder and more tolerant presence than Stern, who retired three months before Sterling was ousted, although Stern was still present in league offices.

While he praised Silver and the league for dumping Sterling, Stern took no action – no investigation whatsoever – despite Sterling’s known bigotry. Many former Clippers employees, including Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor, complained about the Clippers culture under Sterling, who also lost a $2.7 million discrimination lawsuit.

Under Stern’s dictatorial leadership, Sterling was not once fined or suspended. Three months later, Silver listened to the players, put his finger to the wind and waved the hammer that nailed Sterling. Every player in the league applauded and not a single owner shed a tear.

So now we have another NBA executive, Sarver, facing similar accusations of racism and misogyny and a generally toxic workplace, as zealously reported by ESPN’s Baxter Holmes.

The competition’s investigators are on the clock, and so is Silver. Draymond Green speaks for hundreds of players who are curious about what will come out of this case.

“I just hope there’s no double standards just because there’s a governor of a team,” he said. “We are still all part of this league. I just hope that the same standards we have when it comes to players we have when it comes to everyone who is a part of this league.”

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