The Suns have released a statement attributed to team owner Robert Sarver following his one-year suspension, handed down by the NBA after an investigation into workplace misconduct.
The statement reads as follows:
“Good leadership requires accountability. 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.
“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.
“I am extraordinarily proud of the Suns and Mercury organizations and the record we have built concerning diversity, inclusion, and giving back to the community. It means a great deal to me that our dedicated and hardworking employees have made Phoenix a basketball destination – for both players and fans.”
The NBA detailed Sarver’s infractions in a press release. Per the league:
“Mr. Sarver on at least five occasions during his tenure with the Suns/Mercury organization repeated the N-word when recounting the statements of others. Mr. Sarver engaged in instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees, made many sex-related comments in the workplace made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women and on several occasions engaged in inappropriate physical conduct toward male employees. Mr. Sarver engaged in demeaning and harsh treatment of employees including by yelling and cursing at them.”
The NBA today issued the following statement: pic.twitter.com/jjlBK771PT
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) September 13, 2022
Sarver was also fined $10 million as part of the investigation. Per the league, Sarver also cannot do any of the following in 2022-23:
“Be present at any NBA or WNBA team facility, including any office arena or practice facility.
“Attend or participate in any NBA or WNBA event or activity including games practices, or business partner activity.
“Represent the Suns or Mercury in any public or private capacity.
“Have any involvement with the business or basketball operations of the Suns or Mercury.
“Have any involvement in the business governance or activities of either the NBA or WNBA, including attending or participating in meetings of either league’s Board (and their associated Board committees).”