After a nearly year-long investigation, the National Basketball Association released a statement Tuesday detailing their findings regarding Robert Sarver and the two professional basketball teams in Phoenix.
The investigation, which included interviews with 320 individuals and more than 80,000 documents, yielded a number of findings regarding Sarver’s inappropriate behavior in the workplace, including:
- Use the N-word when repeating what others have said on at least five separate occasions.
- Comments about sex in the workplace.
- Inappropriate comments about a woman’s physical appearance.
- Inappropriate physical behavior towards men.
- Humiliation and harsh treatment of employees.
Today the NBA released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/jjlBK771PT
– NBA Communications (NBAPR) September 13, 2022
As a result of the investigation, Sarver has been suspended for one year, which means that he will not be permitted in any NBA/WNBA event facility, or be permitted to represent the Suns or Mercury in any way, or participate in any business or basketball operations within any organization or any Cyclic. Sarver has also been fined $10 million and will be required to complete a training program focused on respect and appropriate behavior in the workplace.
$10 million is the maximum amount the NBA is allowed to pay a fine. They will donate money to organizations that focus on racial and gender issues inside and outside the workplace.
“While I disagree with some of the details of the NBA report, I would like to apologize for my words and actions that offended our staff,” Sarver said in a statement. “I take full responsibility for what I have done. I am sorry for causing this pain, and these errors of judgment are not in line with my personal philosophy or my values.
“I accept the consequences of the NBA decision. This moment is an opportunity for me to demonstrate the ability to learn and grow as we continue to build a work culture in which every employee feels comfortable and appreciated.”
The Phoenix Suns released this statement:
– Phoenix Suns September 13, 2022
The report notes that Sarver “engaged in conduct that clearly violated common workplace standards, as reflected in team and association rules and policies. This behavior included the use of insensitive racial language; unequal treatment of female employees; sexual statements and behavior; and harsh treatment of employees that constituted in some Sometimes bullying.”
While the National Basketball Association says Robert Sarver “fully cooperated with the investigation process,” sources say Tweet embed And I am that the Suns owner did not accept the idea that he deserved a year’s suspension and a $10 million fine for his conduct. The punitive part of the process became quite harsh.
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 13, 2022
Alongside these findings, the investigation conducted a deeper dive into workplace misconduct within the Suns organization that was not associated with Sarver, finding evidence of racial insensitivity, mistreatment of female employees, inappropriate comments on gender or sexual orientation, and more. Disrespectful communication.
Commissioner Adam Silver commented on the outcome of the investigation in an NBA press release.
“The statements and behavior described in the findings of the independent investigation are disturbing and disappointing,” Silver said. “We believe the result is the right one, given all the facts, circumstances and context that our thorough investigation has highlighted for our 18-year period and our commitment to upholding appropriate standards in the NBA workplaces.
“I hope the NBA community will take this opportunity to reflect on what this wonderful game means to people everywhere and the values of equality, respect and inclusion that it strives to represent. Regardless of situation, strength, or intent, we all need to recognize the destructive and harmful impact of insensitive language and behavior. Racist and degrading. On behalf of the entire NBA, I apologize to all affected by the misconduct described in the investigators’ report. We must do better.”
The full report can be downloaded from this link: https://www.wlrk.com/phoenix-suns-report/