The NBA suspended Suns owner Robert Sarver for one year after an independent investigation into his workplace behavior

NBA announce Tuesday that Phoenix Suns Robert Sarver, owner of Phoenix Mercury, was suspended from the league for one year after completing an investigation into his inappropriate workplace behavior. The investigation stems from an ESPN article I wrote last year detailing a Extensive list of allegations against Sarver Inappropriate comments and workplace behaviour.

On Wednesday evening, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver authorized Sam Garvin, Suns vice chairman and minority owner, to be the team’s interim governor, with immediate effect, According to ESPN.

The investigation included information from interviews with 320 people, and evaluated more than 80,000 documents including emails, text messages and videos. Among the findings of the investigation, the National Basketball Association (NBA) determined that Sarver used the N-word on multiple occasions when he retold comments made by blacks even after telling them not to, making “gender-related comments” about female employees, and creating a work environment. It was unfair to the female employees.

According to the league statement:

  • Mr. Sarver, on at least five occasions during his time with the Suns/Mercury organization, repeated the N-word when listing others.
  • Mr. Sarver has engaged in instances of unfair behavior towards female employees, made numerous comments regarding sex in the workplace, made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women, and on several occasions engaged in inappropriate physical behavior towards male employees.
  • Mr. Sarver engaged in humiliating and cruel treatment of staff, including shouting and swearing at them.

Although it was determined that Sarver used racist and sexist language during his 17-year tenure as a Suns and Mercury team owner, the association found that Sarver’s misconduct was not based on race or gender.

In addition to the findings regarding Sarver’s behaviour, the association also said that several Suns employees have engaged in inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

“Among other things, the investigation found instances of racial insensitivity, abuse of female employees, inappropriate comments related to gender or sexual orientation, and disrespectful communications. The investigation also concluded that the HR function at Suns was historically ineffective and not a reliable resource.” for employees who have been subjected to inappropriate acts in the workplace.

The report noted that most of the Suns employees who were implicated in this misconduct are no longer working for the organization and that the team has appointed a new head of human resources who has implemented “a series of positive workplace changes”.

As a result of all these findings, the league decided to suspend Sarver for a year, as well as fine him $10 million for his comments and behavior. The association plans to donate Sarver’s $10 million fine to organizations that address issues of race and gender in and out of the workplace, According to Shams Al-Shaaraniyah, the athlete. During his suspension, Sarver will have no business involvement or basketball operations at Suns or Mercury and must complete a training program focused on appropriate workplace behavior.

For Suns and Mercury, both organizations must complete a series of requirements as stipulated by the league’s office geared toward workplace improvements. Those improvements are:

  • Maintain an outside firm to evaluate and make recommendations regarding workplace training programs, policies and procedures, recruitment and compensation practices – with a focus on promoting a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace.
  • Conduct regular, anonymous surveys on workplace culture and respond to survey results with specific action plans.
  • Immediately inform the League of any cases or allegations of serious misconduct by any employee.
  • For a period of three years, provide the league with periodic reports regarding the steps the organization is taking to meet these requirements.
  • Follow periodic directions to address/improve workplace problems if/as they arise.

Sarver was reportedly “unacceptable” to the penalty set by the league’s bureau, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Baxter Holmes, and He doesn’t think he deserves to be suspended for one year and a $10 million fine.

In addition to announcing Sarver’s sentence, Silver released a statement agreeing with the investigation’s outcome.

“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 it strives to represent. Regardless of position, power, or intent, we all need to recognize the destructive and harmful impact of unkind language and behavior. Sensitive to racism and degrading. On behalf of the entire NBA, I apologize to all affected by the misconduct outlined in the investigators’ report. We must do better.”

Shortly after the results of the investigation were announced and Sarver’s punishment from the league, the owner of The Sun and Mercury issued the following statement.

“Good leadership requires accountability. For the Suns and Mercury organizations, this starts with me. While I disagree with some details of the NBA report, I would like to apologize for my words and actions that offended our staff. I take full responsibility for what I did, I am sorry for causing such pain, These errors of judgment are inconsistent with my philosophy or personal values.

“I accept the consequences of my 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.

“I am extremely proud of the Suns and Mercury organizations and the record we have established for diversity, inclusion and giving back to the community. It means so much to me that our dedicated and hardworking staff have made Phoenix a basketball destination – for both players and fans.”

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