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NBA suspends, fines Suns owner

NEW YORK (AFP) — The National Basketball Association has suspended Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million dollars after a probe of claims of racism and misogyny, the league said Tuesday.

In announcing the punishment, the league said the independent investigation found that Sarver “engaged in conduct that clearly violated common workplace standards, as reflected in team and League rules and policies.”

“This conduct included the use of racially insensitive language; unequal treatment of female employees; sex-related statements and conduct; and harsh treatment of employees that on occasion constituted bullying.”

The NBA commissioned the independent investigation of Sarver, who also owns the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, in November of 2021 after ESPN published an article citing more than 70 Suns employees who alleged Sarver had created a “toxic” work environment in 17 years as owner of the club.

Sarver denied the allegations and said at the time he welcomed the investigation, which was conducted by the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

“Good leadership requires accountability,” Sarver said in a statement on Tuesday released through the Suns.

“For the Suns and Mercury organizations, that begins with me.”

“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.”

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