The Washington Examiner reported this week that the NBA has suspended a team owner over his use of racist and sexist language.
According to the paper, Robert Sarver’s suspension came following an investigation that turned up a pattern of objectionable conduct.
Racial slurs said to have been used on five separate occasions
The investigation found that Sarver, who owns both the Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury, used racial slurs on at least five occasions.
The bad behavior allegedly didn’t stop there, as Sarver is also said to have engaged in “inequitable conduct” towards both male and female employees. The examples that investigators pointed to included him making sexualized remarks or inappropriate comments about their physical appearance.
“The independent investigation found that Mr. Sarver ‘engaged in conduct that clearly violated common workplace standards,'” the release read.
The NBA put out a press release stressing that Sarver “cooperated fully” with the investigation and that he “informed the investigators of his personal and professional efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.”
NBA commissioner: “I apologize to all of those impacted “
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement of his own that the investigation’s findings were “troubling and disappointing.”
“We believe the outcome is the right one, taking into account all the facts, circumstances and context brought to light by the comprehensive investigation of this 18-year period and our commitment to upholding proper standards in NBA workplaces,” he continued.
“I am hopeful that the NBA community will use this opportunity to reflect on what this great game means to people everywhere and the values of equality, respect and inclusion that it strives to represent,” Silver declared.
“Regardless of position, power or intent, we all need to recognize the corrosive and hurtful impact of racially insensitive and demeaning language and behavior,” the commissioner insisted.
“On behalf of the entire NBA, I apologize to all of those impacted by the misconduct outlined in the investigators’ report. We must do better,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the Suns issued a statement which pledged to create “a safe, respectful, and inclusive work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment.”