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NBA-Suns owner banned for one year, fined $10 mln over workplace conduct

NBA-Suns owner banned for one year, fined $10 mln over workplace conduct

Reuters · 09/13/2022 12:57
NBA-Suns owner banned for one year, fined $10 mln over workplace conduct

- Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver was suspended for one year and fined $10 million by the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Tuesday following an independent investigation into allegations over workplace misconduct.

According to the investigation's findings, Sarver, who also owns the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, created an inequitable work environment for women and engaged in harsh and demeaning treatment of employees.

The report also said that Sarver, who along with his teams cooperated fully with the investigation process, used a racial slur on at least five occasions "when recounting the statements of others".

Among other things, the investigation found instances of racial insensitivity, mistreatment of female employees, inappropriate commentary related to sex or sexual orientation, and disrespectful communications.

The investigation also concluded that the Suns' human resources function was historically ineffective and a trusted resource for employees who were subjected to acts of improper workplace conduct.

The NBA commissioned its investigation following an ESPN article in November 2021 that detailed allegations of racism and misogyny during Sarver's tenure. Sarver denied the allegations and said he welcomed an investigation.

The Suns did immediately reply on Tuesday when asked to comment.

As a result of his suspension, Sarver cannot be present at any NBA or WNBA team facility, have any involvement with the business or basketball operations of either club attend or participate in meetings of either league's board.

During his suspension, Sarver must also complete a training program focused on respect and appropriate conduct in the workplace.


(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)

((frank.pingue@thomsonreuters.com; +1-647-480-7636; Reuters Messaging: frank.pingue.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.))