What Next

Does the NBA Have a Bully Problem?

Owners who act badly can expect sympathetic treatment and a departure that’s more or less on their terms.

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Episode Notes

Last week, Robert Sarver, the owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, announced he would be selling both teams. The decision came after ESPN revealed nearly two decades of harassing behavior by Sarver, and after the NBA slapped him with a one-year suspension and $10 million fine. How was Sarver’s bullying able to go unchecked for so long? Does his departure signal a positive step forward for professional U.S. basketball, or a continuation of the status quo?

Guest: Amira Rose Davis, assistant professor of Black studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and co-host of the feminist sports podcast, Burn It All Down.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Elena Schwartz, Carmel Delshad, and Madeline Ducharme, with help from Anna Phillips and Jared Downing.

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About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.