Sunday, September 25, 2022

Phoenix Suns’ owner has been suspended and fined $10 million for misconduct.

Sarver was found to have “engaged in conduct that clearly violated common workplace standards” by the NBA.

There was evidence of “racially insensitive language, unequal treatment of female employees, and sex-related statements and conduct,” according to the report.

Sarver’s treatment of employees was also “on occasion bullying.”

An ESPN article in November 2021 prompted the investigation, which included interviews with 320 people and a review of 80,000 documents and videos.

Despite the fact that the NBA fined Sarver the maximum amount allowed by its rules, the report stated that “there is no finding that Sarver’s conduct was motivated by racial or gender-based animus.”

Sarver’s punishment is less severe than that imposed on Donald Sterling, the then-owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, who was barred from the NBA for life in 2014 after being caught on tape using racist language in a private conversation. The league later forced the team’s sale to new owners.

In a statement reacting to his fine and suspension, Sarver, who also owns the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, said: “Good leadership requires accountability. For the Suns and Mercury organizations, that begins with me.

“While I disagree with some of the particulars of the NBA’s report, I would like to apologize for my words and actions that offended our employees. I take full responsibility for what I have done. I am sorry for causing this pain, and these errors in judgment are not consistent with my personal philosophy or my values.”

“On behalf of the entire NBA, I apologize to all of those impacted by the misconduct outlined in the investigators’ report. We must do better.” he said.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called the league’s report “troubling and disappointing.”

Sarver has owned the Suns for the past 18 years. During his suspension, he will be unable to visit any NBA or WNBA team facility or arena, nor will he be able to engage in any business with the teams.

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