The NBA is set to launch an investigation into the racism and sexism claims made against Robert Sarver, owner of the Phoenix Suns and also owner of the WNBA franchise Phoenix Mercury.
ESPN came out with a damning article against Sarver which paints him as a racist, misogynist and power mad individual who once looked at a female employee that worked for the Phoenix Suns and asked her ‘Do I own you’. He is alleged to have repeatedly used the N word over the years and not back down even when confronted.
More than 70 past and current employees have come forward to back these complaints against Sarver, with most of them wishing to remain anonymous.
Many of them have claimed that they could no longer work properly in such a hostile work environment and had to get medical help to manage their stress levels and mental health.
NBA on ESPN
One of the allegations going back to 2013 says Sarver wanted to hire a coach and made the comment that N players need a N coach. When employees approached human resources to complain of Sarver’s behaviour, they were discouraged from filing any complaint against the Phoenix Suns’s owner and some of them who did filed complaints were later dismissed without a proper explanation.
There were rumours floating around on social media for the last few weeks that a damning report against the Phoenix Suns was about to released. These remarks are not only bad for the Phoenix Suns and Sarver but also for the NBA. The NBA is not the only sport in the US to have faced sexism in recent years with Houston Astros facing the same in 2019.
Mike Bass, representative for the NBA said that the league was taking these allegations very seriously and would thoroughly investigate the matter. When the final report is ready, the NBA will take note of the results and decide the appropriate action that needs to be taken.
Bass did confirm that no complaint was raised against Sarver in the past for racist remarks or fostering a hostile work culture. Michele Roberts, executive director of the NBA’s player union share the same sentiment and said no complaints were brought to her attention.
Sarver Denies All Accusations
Sarver has addressed these allegations through his legal team and has denied them all. He admitted saying the N word once but clarifies that he was repeating a sentence made by a black player on the court.
When he was told not to say the N word even if he was repeating a sentence, he apologized for the same and has never repeated the N word before.