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Adam Silver Was Asked About Controversial NBA Owner Punishment

A closeup of NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 16: Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, talks to the media during the NBA All Star Commissioner's Media Availability as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center on February 16, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The NBA suspended Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver and issued a $1 million fine following an investigation into the Suns franchise.

The report concluded that Sarver used the N-word multiple times and made sexist remarks toward female employees. Given the investigation's findings, some critics believe the league should have taken a harsher stance.

On Wednesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference to discuss Sarver's punishment. He defended the league's discipline and explained that he doesn't hold the unilateral power to kick Sarver out of the league.

"I don't have the right to take away his team...I made a decision it didn't rise to that level," Silver said, per Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. "These consequences are severe."

Via Bleacher Report, he told Howard Beck that NBA owners have "particular rights" and it's "different from holding a job."

Via Ben Golliver of The Washington Post, Silver called Sarver's actions "indefensible," but he believes the league responded "in a fair matter."

Furthermore, he claimed Sarver "has evolved as a person" during his 18 years owning the Suns. He said that Sarver's comments were "wholly of a different kind" of the "blatant racist conduct" that led former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to receive a lifetime ban.

The independent report determined that Sarver told a pregnant woman she can't have the same career after giving birth and often made crude, sexually related jokes in the workplace.

The league nevertheless concluded that his actions were not motivated by "racial or gender-based animus."