We could argue all day about who the bigger puddle of vomit come to life is: Dan Snyder or Robert Sarver? The allegations against both are heinous, and no one in their right mind would voluntarily work under them if they didn’t own one of the 30 places to work as an NBA or NFL player. While the investigation into Sarver just ended, the Snyder probe (gross) ended months ago, and the river of goosebump-inducing testimony should’ve elicited as much backlash as Adam Silver has received for handing down a 1-year ban, $10 million fine to Sarver.
These are two similar cases, and although Snyder wasn’t accused of yelling the N-word like Quentin Tarantino during a table read, the history of racism with the Washington franchise was proudly displayed on their helmets until recently. So where were the Chris Pauls and LeBron James’ of the NFL, tweeting about how outrageous it is that Snyder still occupies an owner’s suite?
If you missed it, here’s what Paul and James tweeted Wednesday after the report was released and Silver announced Sarver’s punishment.
Shout out to both of them for making sure the treatment of women was emphasized in their concerns. It’s as much a part of the problem with Sarver as him screaming racial epithets. Perhaps if Snyder was reported to have said the word that’s most likely to get you canceled, there would be more anger from players. That wasn’t the case though, and it’s reasonable to say sexism doesn’t move the needle as much as racism. Regardless, the alleged transgressions of both owners, and the tepid discipline handed down by both leagues, deserve a resounding rebuke.
(Also, the independent investigators who reasoned since Sarver wasn’t saying the N-word in a derogatory manner and that it was somehow less racist, missed the point. The point is anyone with a conscience knows not to say it, and the fact that Sarver is so delusional that he thinks he can rant unchecked says he’s not fit to own a Smoothie King let alone an NBA franchise.)
For all the lunatics who pound their desk and keypad when the NBA goes “woke,” this is exhibit A why it’s a good thing that players can speak out and try to leverage their power to create change. Silver and the league are doing their best (worst?) Roger Goodell/owners impression, but unlike the culture in the NFL, which lends itself to players staying silent on Snyder and Deshaun Watson, two of the biggest, most powerful stars in the sport aren’t buying the bullshit.
I mean, CP3 tweeted like Sarver isn’t the guy who cuts his checks. His livelihood is affected by this situation vastly more than James’. It’d be like if Carson Wentz disparaged Snyder on Twitter, only if Wentz was a future Hall of Famer who had just led the franchise to its best record in the organization’s history the season after taking them to the Super Bowl.
Even if they’re not Commanders, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are on similar levels as LeBron, but they’re too preoccupied with midlife crises and self-preservation to say a word. It’s also Washington. Their own fans despise the team. No one is going to criticize Brady, Rodgers, or a special teams captain for saying Snyder should be on the next rocket to Mars. Yet that’s never going to happen.
It could be out of fear that the owners will unofficially exile them à la Colin Kaepernick. That’s completely legitimate. However, if players are just as afraid to speak out against Snyder as they are to protest the police, the shield is irredeemably broken.
The NFL and NBA can fumble around in the dark and float possible punishments to gauge public approval all they want. That seems to be the MO for how to handle scumbag owners. The side effect of that approach is it gives players an out if they want to follow suit. Paul and James didn’t do that, and it’s because of the standard they hold their league to, a standard that they helped create.