Elijah Millsap reported that the Utah Jazz Vice-president, Dennis Lindsey, made derogatory comments on his exit interview back in April 2015.
Former Jazz player Millsap came forward on February 25, 2021, stating that Linsey made a bigot comment.
He tweeted, “Almost 6yrs ago. On April 16, 2015, D. Lindsey made bigot remarks in my exit interview while conversing with Q. Snyder’ if you say one more word, I’ll cut your Black ass and send you back to Louisiana,’
Dennis denied making any such statements.
Then the National Basketball Association came in to investigate the accusations against Jazz VP.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, “We take allegations of discrimination seriously. So do we also take the due process rights of those who are being accused, which is why we do full investigations, and in this case, the investigation is being conducted in partnership and in coordination with the Utah Jazz.”
They brought in independent counsel to look into the matter. They interview each of the individuals present in or related in any way to the 2015 interview.
The Athletic reported that the coach for the Utah Jazz, Quin Synder, who is said to be part of the conversation, had already defended Danish.
He said he doesn’t remember the VP saying such pejorative slurs. He even added if David had made any such remarks, he would have clearly remembered it because he is sensitive to such issues.
Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder on Elijah Millsap's allegations towards Dennis Lindsey on twitter before the game – Obviously, Dennis addressed that. Honestly I don't remember the conversation. But, I can't fathom Dennis saying something like that
— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) February 25, 2021
Utah Jazz‘s take in the matter
After the issue had surfaced, back in February, the franchise had released a statement.
They said that they have zero tolerance for any discriminatory behavior or remarks.
They also reported that they are working with the independent counsels and the NBA to know the incident’s truth.
As Millsap’s claims have been proven wrong, they released yet another statement.
“As an organization, we take all matters of this nature seriously and have zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior of any kind. 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.”
Dennis Not Guilty
After the investigation, the NBA has released a statement on March 15 that reads that no evidence proves that Lindsey made those racist comments.
The official statement reads:
“The National Basketball Association announced today the results of a joint investigation with independent, outside counsel to the Utah Jazz into an allegation made by former Jazz player Elijah Millsap on February 24, 2021, that team Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey made an inappropriate statement six years ago during Millsap’s April 2015 exit interview.
The investigation was unable to establish that the alleged statement was made.
As part of the investigative process, all participants involved in the 2015 meeting were interviewed and allowed to provide any relevant evidence, including Millsap and Lindsey. The investigation also involved other parties who might have corroborated the allegation and the review of meeting notes of the exit interview and additional pertinent information.”
Why did Elijah come forward after six years?
Elijah had played 67 games for Utah Jazz in 2015 and 2016. He left Utah on January 5, 2016, then played for Phoenix Suns for a year (2017) and has not been in NBA ever since.
It is speculated that he came forward after all these years because he is bothered by the fact that Utah Jazz did not make good recommendations.
In an interview, Millsap has said, “These guys, they had the opportunity to tell people the truth about who I was and they didn’t do that. That’s disgusting to me.”
In his short time with the Jazz, he had an average of 4.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per 16 minutes. His brother Paul Millsap had also entered the Jazz league and played a long time for them before transferring to the Denver Nuggets.
Immediately after making assertions against Lindsey, Elijah had again stated that he does not expect the NBA investigation to go well. He said he knows that the league is going to portray him as the “villain”. He added that Dennis Linsey is not a racist but had made those remarks to him.
I believe “Truth” is the key to human evolution and must be shared to continually “Empower” the human consciousness of the people being oppressed.
— Elijah (@Elijah_Millsap) February 25, 2021