After a months-long investigation, the NBA decided to suspend Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver from all official duties for one year, and to fine him $10 million, for his racist and sexist behavior.
We will not see Robert Sarver, owner of the Phoenix Suns (NBA) and the Phoenix Mercury (WNBA), in the offices or on the edge of the floor for a year! The 60-year-old businessman, who bought the franchise in 2004, was indeed suspended by the NBA on Tuesday after a long investigation following an article byESPN published last November, in which employees of the Arizona franchise complained about his racist and sexist behavior, among other things. “The independent investigation report, which was made public today, was based on information gathered from interviews with 320 people, including current and former employees who worked for the teams during the 18 years of tenure of Mr. Sarver, and the assessment of over 80,000 documents and other media, including emails, text messages and videos. Mr. Sarver and the Suns/Mercury organization cooperated fully with the investigative process “Begins the NBA, before specifying the alleged facts.
A record fine for Sarver
“The independent investigation found that Mr. Sarver engaged in behavior that clearly violated common workplace standards, as evidenced by team and League rules and policies. This conduct included the use of racially insensitive language; unequal treatment of female employees; statements and behaviors related to sex; and harsh treatment of employees which at times amounted to intimidation,” the League statement continued. The facts are serious and the penalty is heavy: one-year suspension, during which time Robert Sarver cannot be present in any NBA or WNBA team facility (office, hall, training room, etc.) or attend or participate in any NBA or WNBA event or activity. The owner will also have to follow “a training program focused on respect and appropriate conduct in the workplace. In addition, he is sentenced to a fine of 10 million dollars, an amount which will be donated by the NBA to organizations fighting against racism. Recall that to buy the Suns 18 years ago, he had spent $ 401 million.