The NBA announced Tuesday that Robert Sarver, owner of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury, has been suspended for a year and fined $10 million after an investigation concluded he used racial slurs and also engaged in “unfair behavior towards to employees”, as well as much more during his work as an owner.
According to ESPN, an investigation into Sarver was launched following the publication of their story, which focused on the racial allegations and misogyny he faced during his tenure as owner of two teams. The investigation found that he “repeated the word with the letter N at least five times, retelling the statements of others.”
The investigation also found that he “participated in cases of unfair behavior towards female employees, made many comments of a sexual nature in the workplace, made inappropriate comments about the appearance of female employees and other women, and also exhibited inappropriate physical behavior on several occasions.” towards male workers.
However, that’s not all, he is also accused of “participating in the humiliation and rude treatment of employees, including by shouting and swearing at them.”
As part of the investigation, more than 320 current and former employees were interviewed, and more than 80,000 documents and other materials were examined during the investigation. The $10 million fine is the maximum amount he can be fined, and the money will go to organizations that “resolve issues of race and gender in and out of the workplace.”
The NBA released the following statement today: pic.twitter.com/jjlBK771PT
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) September 13, 2022
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver commented on the situation and said:
“I hope the NBA community will take this opportunity to reflect on what this great game means to people around the world and the values of equality, respect and inclusion that it seeks to represent. Regardless of position, power or intent, we must all be aware of the destructive and pernicious impact of racially insensitive and degrading language and behavior. On behalf of the entire NBA, I apologize to everyone affected by the misconduct outlined in the investigators’ report. We have to work better.”
During the suspension, Sarver may not be present at any NBA or WNBA facility or participate in any tag team activities or activities. He also cannot represent the Suns or the Mercury in private or publicly, or have anything to do with the business of either team or both leagues as a whole.
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