NBA investigation: No evidence Utah Jazz executive made bigoted remark

Apr 11, 2017; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Langston Galloway (9) drives to the basket against Phoenix Suns guard Elijah Millsap (22) during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA and Utah Jazz’s joint investigation didn’t find any evidence to substantiate the claim made by former player Elijah Millsap that he was the target of a racially insensitive comment made by team executive Dennis Lindsey in April 2015, the league said in a statement on Monday.

Millsap made the accusation when he posted on social media on Feb. 24 that Lindsey said “I’ll cut your Black ass and send you back to Louisiana,” during an end-of-season meeting six years ago.

“The investigation was unable to establish that the alleged statement was made,” the NBA said in announcing the findings of the inquiry.

The NBA and the Jazz spoke with Lindsey, who was promoted to Utah’s executive vice president of basketball operations in 2019, as well as general manager Justin Zanik and coach Quin Snyder, who were also present at the meeting where the comment was allegedly made.

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“As part of the investigative process, all participants involved in the 2015 meeting were interviewed and given the opportunity to provide any relevant evidence, including both Millsap and Lindsey,” the NBA said in a statement. “The investigation also involved other parties who might have been in a position to corroborate the allegation, and the review of meeting notes of the exit interview and other pertinent information.”

Millsap averaged 4.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 67 games for the Jazz over two seasons from 2014-2016 before finishing his career with the Phoenix Suns in 2016-2017, playing in just two games. Millsap’s older brother, Paul, spent seven seasons with the Jazz from 2006-2013 before joining the Atlanta Hawks from 2013-2017. He has spent the past four seasons with the Denver Nuggets.

“As an organization, we take all matters of this nature seriously and have zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior of any kind,” the Jazz said in a statement. “We appreciate the thorough process of the NBA’s investigation and thank all parties involved for their full cooperation. The league’s investigation was done in coordination with independent, outside counsel. We respect the league’s process and results announced earlier today. For more than 25 years, Dennis Lindsey has been a respected basketball executive around the NBA and a leading voice on social justice within our organization and community.”

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–Field Level Media