In a letter addressed to Adam Silver and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson:
In addition to physically attacking our officers and obstructing a domestic abuse investigation, Mr. Hayes repeatedly called our officers the “N-word” and did so in an aggressive and threatening manner. No person should be subjected to such vile and offensive language. It has no place in our society and it should have no place in the NBA.
Given that the NBA professes to oppose hate speech (although we did not find any prohibition in either its Constitution or CBA), the NBA Constitution does state the Commissioner can suspend a player or fine a player up to $50,000 if a player’s comments have a “prejudicial or detrimental” impact on the “best interests of basketball or of the Association (NBA Constitution Section 2.35(d)).
Recently, the NBA fined Miami Heat player Meyers Leonard $50,000, and suspended him from all Miami Heat activities and facilities for one week for making anti-Semitic comments while playing a video game. In response to Leonard’s comments, you provided the following statement: “We have further communicated to Meyers that derogatory comments like this will not be tolerated and that he will be expected to uphold the core values of our league — equality, tolerance, inclusion and respect — at all times moving forward.”
We ask you to investigate Mr. Hayes’ use of the “N-word” during the incident, and based on the obvious evidence, hold him accountable for the blatant violation of the NBA’s values of “equality, tolerance, inclusion and respect.”
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