Suns owner Robert Sarver suspended and fined
Ricky Gray | September 14, 2022
Investigation finds conduct 'clearly violated' workplace standards.
Robert Sarver, the owner of the NBA's Phoenix Suns and the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, has been suspended for one year and fined $10m by the NBA.
The NBA announced the suspension on Tuesday, saying the investigation found that during his time with the Suns and Mercury, Sarver used derogatory terms at least five times “when recounting the statements of others.”
There were also “instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees.” The NBA continued to state that this included “sex-related comments” as well.
An investigation was commissioned by the NBA after ESPN published a story in November 2021 detailing allegations of racism and misogyny during Sarver's 17 years as owner.
The NBA stated that Sarver “cooperated fully with the investigative process.” However, league sources told ESPN's Baxter Holmes and Adrian Wojnarowski that he was unaccepting of the idea that he deserved a one-year suspension and a $10m fine for his behavior.
In a statement from Sarver, he commented: “While I disagree with some of the particulars of the NBA's report, 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.”
The investigation included interviews with over 320 current and former employees as well as Sarver.