The joint NBA and Utah Jazz investigation into former player Elijah Millsap’s allegations found no evidence to support the claim that team executive Dennis Lindsey made a racially insensitive comment at an April 2015 meeting, the league said Monday in a statement.
“The investigation could not establish that the alleged statement was made,” the NBA said in announcing the investigation’s findings.
The investigation focused on Millsap’s allegation in a February 24 social media post that Lindsey, now Utah’s executive vice president of basketball operations, told him “I’ll cut your ass black and send you back to Louisiana.” , during a season finale meeting six years ago.
The Jazz hired an independent investigator to work with the NBA on the investigation, and the team said in an accompanying statement that the franchise has “zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior of any kind” and described Lindsey as a “respected basketball executive. in the NBA and a leading voice in social justice within our organization and community. “
The NBA and Jazz interviewed Lindsey and two other team officials present at the April 2015 meeting: general manager Justin Zanik and coach Quin Snyder, sources told ESPN.
Lindsey, Zanik and Snyder denied the statement was made, the sources said. Zanik’s role at the meeting was to take notes on the conversation, which were also included in the review, the sources said. The notes were entered into a team database, and forensic investigators may have been able to determine if the notes had been altered or updated in any way since they were placed in the system, the sources said.
Additionally, Millsap’s agent, Daniel Hazan, told investigators that his client had not informed him of the allegation during the two seasons that Millsap played with the Jazz, sources said.
While doing a series of posts on Twitter Last month on how bigotry “is still very much present” and is an issue that needs to be addressed, Millsap alleged that Lindsey “made fanatic comments in my exit interview while chatting with Q. Snyder ‘if you say one more word, I’ll I’ll cut off your black ass and send you back to Louisiana. ‘”
End-of-season meetings, commonly called exit meetings, are staples of NBA organizations and are typically powerful conversations between headquarters and players reviewing last season and looking to the future. . The Jazz have taken detailed notes on each of those meetings since Lindsey started as the franchise’s general manager in 2012, sources said.
Millsap played two seasons with the Jazz, including his return to the team in the 2015-16 season. His older brother Paul Millsap played his first seven years with the Jazz, leaving after the 2012-13 season.
Lindsey was promoted to executive vice president in 2019 and has presided over the rebuilding of an organization that currently holds the best record in the NBA at 28-10.
Lindsey began his professional basketball career with the Houston Rockets in 1996 as a scout, eventually working his way up to becoming an assistant general manager. He left for the Spurs as an assistant general manager in 2007 before joining the Jazz as a general manager in 2012.