SALT LAKE CITY — A joint investigation by the NBA and independent, outside counsel to the Utah Jazz couldn't corroborate allegations made by former player Elijah Millsap that team executive Dennis Lindsey made a bigoted comment during an exit interview in 2015, the league announced on Monday.
"As an organization, we take all matters of this nature seriously and have zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior of any kind," a statement from the Jazz said. "We appreciate the thorough process of the NBA's investigation and thank all parties involved for their full cooperation."
The investigation occurred following a series of tweets where Millsap, who played part of two seasons with the Jazz, said Lindsey had told him "if u say one more word, I'll cut your Black ass and send you back to Louisiana" during an end-of-season meeting in April 2015.
Lindsey quickly refuted the accusation, telling local media that "I categorically deny making that statement."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder, who was at the meeting, said that he didn't specifically recall the nearly six-year-old meeting but assumed if such language was used he would have remembered.
"I'd be shocked — I can't fathom Dennis saying something like that," Snyder said last month.
The investigation featured interviews with both Millsap and Lindsey, as well as Snyder and Jazz general manager Justin Zanik, who was also present at the meeting. As part of the probe, Millsap and Lindsey were able to present relevant evidence, and the investigators reviewed the notes from the meeting that were kept by the Jazz.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Millsap said he didn't believe a fair investigation could take place.
"Obviously, I know my truth," Millsap said. "Some outside counsel or somebody, all they can do is just try to stir it up and make it me look as if I'm lying. I did it basically to free myself from the torture of holding things in, to free myself, not to make Dennis Lindsey feel bad and not to make him look like a racist. I don't feel he is a racist, but I do know what he said to me."
In the end, the investigators were "unable to establish that the alleged statement was made."
"We respect the league's process and results announced earlier today," the Jazz statement said. "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."