NBA owner suspended 1 year, fined $10M AND must undergo ‘training’ for racist, misogynistic behavior

The NBA issued a suspension and hefty fine following a 10-month investigation into alleged inappropriate conduct by Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, but the woke league took their punishment beyond financial with some rather open-ended social justice style demands.

(Video: ESPN)

Tuesday morning, the NBA released an official statement documenting the recent conclusion of an independent investigation that they had commissioned following a Nov. 2021 article published by ESPN calling into question Sarver’s behavior. The sports network covered the conclusion of the investigation on “SportsCenter” and detailed, “Among the findings was that Sarver used the n-word at least five times when recounting the statement of others. The report found that Sarver and others in the organization treated female employees unfairly, made sexually related comments and bullied others.”

As a result, Sarver, who is both a managing partner of the Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, is expected to pay a $10 million fine and undergo a full year suspension during which he will be prohibited from having “any involvement in the business, governance, or activities,” of either league and barred from even attending any games. However, it was deemed not enough for the owner to make amends after a review of 80,000 documents and 320 interviews.

The NBA’s statement went on to explain that Sarver would be expected to undergo “training” while serving out his suspension in order to better align with the expectations of the league.

“Mr. Sarver must, during his suspension, complete a training program focused on respect and appropriate conduct in the workplace,” the NBA declared and further added his organization “must fulfill a series of requirements for workplace improvements set forth and monitored by the NBA” including “retaining an outside firm to evaluate and make recommendations with respect to workplace training programs, policies and procedures, and hiring and compensation practices–with a focus on fostering a diverse, inclusive, and respectful workplace.”

The expectations were set even after it was acknowledged that parties considered guilty of misconduct had already been separated from the organization and Sarver had already taken steps toward placating those offended.

The Suns posted a statement of their own following the NBA’s decision and noted in part, “The NBA’s findings concerning the organization focus, for the most part, on historical matters that have been addressed in recent years, including through meaningful enhancements to our workplace compliance program.”

So, too, did Sarver issue a mea culpa in his acquiescence to the league’s demands stating, “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. I accept the consequences of the NBA’s decision. 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.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also reacted, “The statements and conduct described in the findings of the independent investigation are troubling and disappointing. We believe the outcome is the right one, taking into account all the facts, circumstances and context brought to light by the comprehensive investigation of this 18-year period and our commitment to upholding proper standards in NBA workplaces.”

“I am hopeful that the NBA community will use this opportunity to reflect on what this great game means to people everywhere and the values of equality, respect and inclusion that it strives to represent. Regardless of position, power or intent, we all need to recognize the corrosive and hurtful impact of racially insensitive and demeaning language and behavior,” Silver continued. “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.”


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