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The NBA has suspended Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million after an investigation into his workplace conduct. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)




The NBA has suspended Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million after an expansive independent investigation into the organization’s workplace culture concluded that he had used racial epithets and treated female employees by a different standard than their male counterparts, among other violations of the league’s policies.

The independent investigation, which was initiated after an ESPN.com article about Sarver’s behavior last November, conducted interviews with 320 individuals and reviewed more than 80,000 documents, according to the NBA.

Investigators concluded that Sarver had “repeated the n-word” at least five times “when recounting the statements of others,” corroborating allegations made last year by former Suns Coach Earl Watson.

The report also stated that Sarver had “made many sex-related comments in the workplace” and “made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women.”

Sarver will be barred from attending all NBA and WNBA games and from team facilities, and he cannot appear at public events on behalf of the Suns or the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. The 60-year-old real estate developer also cannot be involved in his organizations’ business operations or league meetings. His $10 million fine is the maximum allowed under NBA rules.

However, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stopped short of issuing a lifetime ban to Sarver, a punishment that he doled out to former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was caught on tape making racist comments.

In a statement, Silver said that the investigation’s findings were “troubling and disappointing,” and that Sarver’s punishment was “the right one, taking into account all the facts, circumstances and context” throughout his 18-year ownership tenure.

“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 said. “Regardless of position, power or intent, we all need to recognize the corrosive and hurtful impact of racially insensitive and demeaning language and behavior. 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.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

https://www.washingtonpost.com...suns/?location=alert

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