The NBA Suspended Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver For One Year And Fined Him $10 Million

Back in October of 2021, the Phoenix Suns and several members of the organization released a statement regarding an upcoming ESPN story about the team’s owner, Robert Sarver. It was unclear what, exactly, they were talking about until a few weeks later, when a story came out alleging that Sarver fostered a hostile work environment, which included numerous examples of racism and sexism in the workplace.

The NBA announced an independent investigation shortly after, and on Tuesday, the league handed down its punishment based on more than 300 interviews and “the evaluation of more than 80,000 documents and other materials, including emails, text messages and videos.” As a result, Sarver is banned from the Suns and the Phoenix Mercury for a year, he has been handed a fine of $10 million, and while he is away from the teams, Sarver is required to “complete a training program focused on respect and appropriate conduct in the workplace.”

Beyond that, the Suns and the Mercury “must fulfill a series of requirements for workplace improvements set forth and monitored by the NBA.” The investigation determined that, among other things, Sarver has used the N-word on multiple occasions and was inappropriate towards women and men.

Sarver purchased the Suns and the Mercury in 2004. Earlier this week, Ashley Silva, a former employee of the organization, criticized the NBA for its handling of the probe, tweeting that “a lot of us trusted you, broke our NDA, and were traumatized all over again speaking to the attorneys you assigned because we thought you’d do the right thing.”