The NBA decided to suspend Robert Sarver, the owner of the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, for one year with a $10 million fine. Robert Sarver was reported to have made the workplace toxic by engaging in racial and gender discrimination.
LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Draymond Green voiced their opinions, dismissing the punishment as lenient. Following pressure from multiple avenues, Robert Sarver ultimately announced his desire to sell his teams.
Steph Curry answered a question about Sarver on media day, highlighting the fact that he was happy when he heard about the decision to sell:
“I think the outcome was exactly what should have happened. I think I had conversations with Adam Silver directly, and kind of got his point of view – of what decisions and mechanisms he had to intervene and bring down a punishment that was worthy of, you know, the actions we’re all responding to.”
Adam Silver received a lot of criticism during his initial response to the situation, with suggestions that the league had different standards for employees and owners. Even the NBA players that were in disagreement argued the same point, asking for the league to maintain a standard across all levels. Curry continued:
“The standard that we set in terms of — from execs, ownership, all the way down to players – there should be a standard around what’s tolerable and what’s not.
“Honestly, I thought the punishment that was handed down, it would probably drag out a little longer. But I’m glad that we kinda got to the point where both of the teams are for sale sooner or later.”
Steph Curry regrets not being involved in the 2014 protest against Donald Sterling
In 2014, the LA Clippers found themselves in a situation similar to the Phoenix Suns, where they were not happy with the actions of their owner. Donald Sterling, former owner of the LA Clippers, was exposed by TMZ with a tape that colored him as a racist.
The Clippers were in the middle of a playoff series against the Golden State Warriors and Steph Curry reportedly reached out to Chris Paul with a proposition. Steph Curry and his teammates, to show unity, wanted to walk-off the court after the jumpball, but the Clippers had other ideas. On this, Curry told Matt Sullivan of "Rolling Stone":
"One of my biggest regrets is not boycotting the game. That was a moment to leverage beyond anything we probably could have said.”
Instead, the Clippers wore their warm-up shirts with the logo inside out, demanding a lifetime ban for Donald Sterling. He was handed a lifetime ban along with a $2.5 million fine by Adam Silver, and was eventually forced to sell the team.