Top Civil Rights leaders call for meeting with NBA Commissioner to discuss the ongoing investigation into allegations of abuse and misconduct by the Phoenix Suns majority-owner.
NEW YORK, NY (May 5, 2022) – The American Sports Accountability Project (ASAP) announced today that Rev. Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network, Mayor Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, Maya Wiley, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Melanie Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, have joined together to request a meeting with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver regarding the ongoing investigation into Phoenix Suns majority-owner, Robert Sarver.
In March, ASAP sent a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and, in a phone call with NBA leadership a few days later, Rev. Al Sharpton impressed upon the league to act with greater urgency with respect to the ongoing investigation.
To date, the NBA has provided no additional updates regarding the investigation, which is now entering its sixth month. Rev. Sharpton, Mayor Morial, Ms. Wiley, and Ms. Campbell are now calling for a meeting with Commissioner Silver and league leadership and demanding a timeline for the investigation’s completion and the public release of the findings.
Rev. Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network:
“During my initial discussion with NBA leadership last March, I was given reason to believe that this investigation was nearing its end. However, in more than six weeks since that conversation, there is no end in sight. We all respect that the investigation should be thorough, and that investigators should be given time to do their jobs. However, we have seen the NBA swiftly conduct investigations like this before, and six months is more than sufficient time. Together with my colleagues, I would like to sit down with Commissioner Silver and league leadership and have an honest conversation about what is going on and when we, the public, should expect to see these findings.”
Mayor Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League:
“It is unacceptable that this investigation has been going on since last November, and the only word from Silver is that it is ‘closer to the end than the beginning.’ I am disappointed in what appears to be an effort to slow-roll this very serious situation, especially given the NBA’s history of taking swift action in the past. Racism and misogyny should have no place in our sports arenas, and I would expect the NBA to hold true to their commitments on these issues. I look forward to discussing this matter with the leadership of the league.”
Maya Wiley, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:
“These allegations were uncovered last November when the season was just getting started. The fact that we are now in the playoffs and nothing has been done is simply inexcusable. We will not sit by and watch as this investigation drags on as a means to shield Mr. Sarver, continuing in his position of power and celebrating the success of his team as the playoffs continue. We must have transparency, and urgency, from the NBA with regard to Mr. Sarver.”
Melanie Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation:
“I am disheartened by this entire situation—the allegations themselves, the alleged usage of the N-word on multiple occasions, and the fact that the investigation into these allegations is being conducted under a cloak of darkness. Let us be clear: we will not allow Sarver’s actions to be conveniently forgotten. We are seeking accountability and action. If the allegations are corroborated, the consequences for Sarver must be steep. There should be zero tolerance for such behavior within a league, such as the NBA, the portends to promote social justice and equity.”