Updated: Sep 23, 2022
Robert Sarver, the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury owner has been suspended for one year and fined him $10 million.
Wed, September 14th, 2022
The NBA suspended Robert Sarver, the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury owner for one year, and fined him $10 million (the NBA maximum), when the results of an investigation showed that he engaged in “workplace misconduct and organizational deficiencies.”
The report was published on Tuesday almost a year after the NBA hired a law firm to investigate allegations against Sarver claiming that he had a history of racist, hostile, and misogynistic incidents during his almost twenty year tenure overs the franchise.
Sarver stated that he will “accept the consequences of the league’s decision” and he apologized for “words and actions that offended our employees.” Sarver did say that he disagreed with some findings from the report.
The report stated that Sarver “repeated or purported to repeat the N-word on at least five occasions spanning his tenure with the Suns,” but said that the investigation “makes no finding that Sarver used this racially insensitive language with the intent to demean or denigrate.”
The study concluded that Sarver used demeaning words toward female employees, like telling an employee who was pregnant that she would be unable to do her job after she became a mother; and that he made inappropriate and offensive jokes and comments regarding sex and anatomy; he also cursed and yelled at employees that are considered bullying “under workplace standards.”
“I take full responsibility for what I have done,” said Sarver. “I am sorry for causing this pain, and these errors in judgment are not consistent with my personal philosophy or my values. ... This moment is an opportunity for me to demonstrate a capacity to learn and grow as we continue to build a working culture where every employee feels comfortable and valued.”
Sarver is not allowed to be present at any team facility under the NBA or WNBA- including offices, arenas, or practice facilities. He is banned from attending or participating in any NBA or WNBA activity or event, including practices, games, or business partner activity. He cannot represent Mercury or the Suns or in any private or public capacity; and he cannot have any involvement in the basketball or business operations of either team.
The NBA stated that it will donate the $10 million from the fine “to organizations that are committed to addressing race and gender-based issues in and outside the workplace.”