Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver is suspended and selling his team after he was found to have used racial slurs in conversation, but an NBA champion believes his racism is much more blatant.
Former Los Angeles Laker Lamar Odom has said the Suns’ mascot, a gorilla, has racial overtones.
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“What’s funny is that it’s been overlooked for all these years,” Odom said on the “Bootleg Kev Podcast.” “Nobody says anything about it. Gorillas, in the desert, you can’t find any. You could probably find a cactus.”
“In basketball, bro, I just like, come on, bro. But you know what really drives him crazy? They just tried it because they wanted to get the fans involved, and that’s the reason they kept it, because the a The fans loved it.”
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Odom then pointed out that Arizona was the last state to formally recognize Martin Luther King Day as a federal holiday, which didn’t happen until 1992.
The two-time NBA champion described himself as a “woke young black man in America” and sees things “totally different.”
“I’m surprised Chris Paul hasn’t said anything about it,” Odom added.
Paul criticized Sarver and his punishment, saying that he “fell up short”.
“I was and am horrified and disappointed by what I read. This conduct, especially towards women, is unacceptable and must never be repeated,” Paul tweeted in September.
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The mascot dates back to 1980 and has been around ever since.