Former Utah Jazz player Elijah Millsap tweeted that Jazz executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey made bigoted comments toward him during a meeting between the player and executive after the 2014-15 season.
“Almost 6yrs ago. On April 16, 2015, D. Lindsey made bigot remarks in my exit interview while conversing with Q. Snyder “if u say one more word, I’ll cut your Black ass and send you back to Louisiana,” Millsap wrote.
At the end of each season, players typically meet with front office executives and coaches and discuss the season and the upcoming summer of desired improvement. That’s where Millsap alleges Lindsey made the remarks.
He also said that Jazz head coach Quin Snyder was in the room at the time.
Lindsey, however, firmly denied that he ever made such a statement in a message to The Tribune, saying: “I categorically deny making that statement.” Lindsey also told The Athletic he “emphatically” denied making the statement.
“Honestly, I don’t remember the conversation,” Snyder said after the Jazz’s win against the Lakers on Wednesday. “I can’t fathom... I’d be shocked by Dennis saying something like that.”
A request for comment from Millsap’s agent and uncle, DeAngelo Simmons, was not immediately returned.
Rudy Gobert, who played alongside Millsap during his tenure with the Jazz, said that he hadn’t heard about the interaction before Wednesday night.
“Elijah was actually one of the guys that I was close with when he was part of the team a few years ago. So I’m just going to reach out to him and find out,” Gobert said. “Until we have more information, it’s hard to tell. It was six years ago, so it’s tough to understand, but hopefully we can get more information.”
Millsap, the younger brother of former All-Star forward and fellow ex-Jazz player Paul Millsap, spent parts of two seasons with the Jazz, playing 67 games with the franchise, and averaging 4.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 33.2% from the field.
The Jazz signed him to his first 10-day contract on Jan. 5, 2015, then to a second one 10 days later, following which they agreed to a longer-term extension. The Jazz waived him on Jan. 5, 2016.
Millsap explained in his series of tweets that he was coming forward with his side of the interaction almost six years later because, “Bigot behavior is still very well present in our Country and should be exposed and expunged.”
He added that revealing the exchange now was about “Controlling my narrative, and will teach my sons how to stand up and control their own.”
Millsap also wrote that he was doing his part to speak up for Black people who have not had their voices heard: “It’s an honor to stand up for what is right in any capacity...Hundreds of thousands of beautiful black lives massacred for Truth, Freedom, and Justice. Damn right it sticks with you, but with Truth it will never overtake me again.”