NBA: Suns owner puts franchise up for sale after punishment for racism and misogyny | nba

Robert Sarber, owner of the Phoenix Suns and WNBA Phoenix, announced Wednesday that he has begun the process of selling the franchise. He was suspended for a year and fined the NBA’s maximum $10 million last week after a league investigation found a hostile and toxic work environment, with incidents of racism and misogyny reported by dozens of employees.

Stars like LeBron James, Draymond Green and Chris Paul, that player from the Suns themselves, publicly criticized what they saw as a light punishment. The company that puts its brand on the franchise’s game jersey, Paypal, said it would end the partnership if Sarver remained part of the organization.

  • A Suns vice president has called on the team’s owner to resign after being punished for racism

Robert Cerber — Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

– Like many others, I looked at the report. I was horrified and disappointed by what I read. This conduct, especially towards women, is unacceptable and must never be repeated. I am of the opinion that the sanctions could not really address what we can all agree is atrocious behavior. My heart goes out to all the people affected,” Chris Paul said on social media.

The amount of the fine will be donated to organizations dealing with issues of race and gender inside and outside the workplace. The investigation began after an article published by ESPN USA in November 2021, which explained Server’s positions in the 17 years leading up to the franchise. More than 320 professionals (current or previously working in the clubs) were interviewed and analyzed about 80,000 documents, emails, videos and messages exchanged.

– In our current relentless climate, it has become painfully clear that this is no longer possible – any good I have done, or can still do, outweighs things I have said in the past. For these reasons, I am beginning the process of finding buyers for the Suns and Mercury,” Sarver said in a statement.

In addition to using racist expressions, the representative also made comments about the employees’ physical appearance and sexual orientation, treating them in an aggressive and humiliating manner, according to the final report. The investigation concluded that Serber “engaged in conduct that clearly violated common workplace standards as reflected in team and league rules and policies.”

– The statements and behavior described in the findings of the independent investigation are alarming and disappointing. We believe the result is the right one, taking into account all the facts, circumstances and context brought to light by our comprehensive investigation of this 18-year period and our commitment to maintaining proper standards in NBA workplaces.” of the NBA, at the time. of the punishment.

– I hope the NBA community will take this opportunity to think about what this great game means to people everywhere and the values ​​of equality, respect and inclusion it strives to represent. Regardless of position, power, or intent, we all need to recognize the damaging and harmful impact of racially insensitive and degrading language and behavior. We have to do better,” he added.

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