NBA Hands Big Penalty to Owner After Investigation

Robert Sarver of Phoenix Suns accused of racist, misogynistic behavior
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 13, 2022 2:02 PM CDT
NBA Hands Hefty Penalty to Owner After Investigation
The NBA has suspended Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury owner Robert Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

The NBA has suspended Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury owner Robert Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million after an investigation found that he had engaged in what the league called "workplace misconduct and organizational deficiencies," per the AP. The findings of the league's report came nearly a year after the NBA asked a law firm to investigate allegations that Sarver had a history of racist, misogynistic, and hostile incidents over his nearly two-decade tenure overseeing the franchise. Sarver said he will "accept the consequences of the league’s decision” and apologized for "words and actions that offended our employees," though he added that he disagreed with some of the report's findings.

The report said Sarver "repeated or purported to repeat the N-word on at least five occasions spanning his tenure with the Suns," though it added that the investigation "makes no finding that Sarver used this racially insensitive language with the intent to demean or denigrate." The study also concluded that Sarver used demeaning language toward female employees, including telling a pregnant employee that she would not be able to do her job after becoming a mother; made off-color comments and jokes about sex and anatomy; and yelled and cursed at employees in ways that would be considered bullying "under workplace standards."

The $10 million fine is the maximum allowed by NBA rules. "I take full responsibility for what I have done," Sarver said. "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." (Read more Robert Sarver stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X