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NBA suspends Suns owner Robert Sarver for using racial slurs, harassing employees

NBA fines and suspends owners of Phoenix Suns and Mercury for misconduct

The NBA suspended Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver for a year and fined him $10 million on Tuesday after an independent investigation found multiple violations of workplace conduct standards job.

The investigation revealed that Sarver repeated the N word at least five times. He also made gender-related comments and inappropriate appearance-related comments about and about female employees. He also mistreats employees by yelling and swearing at them.

The poll also found that Suns Human Resources has historically underperformed.

The tournament begins investigation in November after an article from ESPN alleging misconduct by Sarver. The NBA has authorized the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz to review more than 80,000 documents – including emails, text messages and videos – related to Sarver’s conduct.

Sarver initially called the allegations “false”, “inaccurate” and “misleading” while staunchly denying the allegations of misconduct. In November, he said, “I wholeheartedly welcome a provably objective NBA investigation the only way out to erase my name and the reputation of an organization of which I am very proud. “

As a result of the study, a review of Sarver’s 18-year tenure as the team’s managing partner corroborates the original report.

“The statements and conduct described in the results of the independent investigation are disturbing and disappointing,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We believe the results are correct, taking into account all the facts, circumstances and context brought to light by this comprehensive investigation over this 18-year period.”

The $10 million fine is the maximum allowed by the NBA’s constitution and law. Sarver will also be barred from all NBA and WNBA facilities, events, games, practices and businesses.

“The NBA’s findings relate to the organization’s focus, in large part, on historical issues that have been addressed in recent years,” reads a statement from Suns Legacy Partners, the company that manages the Suns and Mercury. “Robert Sarver must also be held accountable for his actions. He realized that sometimes during his eighteen years of possession, his conduct did not reflect his values, or the values ​​of the Sun. God.”

Sarver’s fines will be donated to organizations that work to address race and gender issues inside and outside of the workplace. During the period of suspension, Sarver will complete a training program in respect and appropriate conduct in the workplace.

“While I disagree with some details in the NBA’s report, I would like to apologize for the words and actions that offended our employees,” Sarver wrote in a statement sent to CNBC. “I take full responsibility for what I’ve done. I’m sorry for causing this pain, and the errors in this statement are inconsistent with my personal philosophy and values.”

Findings echo revelations about former owner of Los Angeles Clippers Donald Sterling, who was fined $2.5 million and banned for life after audio recording caught him making racist comments. The ban forced Sterling to sell the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer after 33 years of ownership. Sterling’s lawsuit against the NBA was settled in 2016.

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