Phoenix Suns vice president asks owner to step down

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Phoenix Suns VP Jahm Najafi calls for Suns owner to resign Robert Sarver after allegations of racism and misogyny in the workplace surfaced this week.

Najafi published a long statement Thursday, thanking the targets of Sarver’s abuse for speaking out about his conduct as owner of the Suns for the past 18 years. The vice president said there should be “zero tolerance for discriminatory actions of any level, in any setting, let alone a professional.”

“There is no doubt that the findings have determined that Mr. Sarver’s lewd, misogynistic and racist conduct has had a substantial negative impact on you and has no place in our society,” Najafi said in the statement.

Sarver also owns the Phoenix Mercury, which plays in the WNBA.

The NBA launched a 10-month independent investigation into Sarver’s time as owner of both teams and found he engaged in acts such as “the use of racially insensitive language; unequal treatment of female employees; statements and behaviors related to sex; and harsh treatment of employees that sometimes amounted to intimidation.

Most notably, the report found that Sarver repeated the N-word at least five times “when recounting the statements of others.” The report also found that Sarver made sex-related comments at work and, on several occasions, “made inappropriate comments” about the appearance of female employees and other women.

Sarver was suspended from the league for a year and fined $10 million on Wednesday for his actions.

NBA superstars LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chris Paul, who plays for the Suns, have criticized the NBA for allowing Sarver’s behavior to run unchecked for so long.

“Our league definitely got it wrong,” James said on Twitter Wednesday.

“There’s no place in this league for that kind of behavior,” continued James. “I love this league and deeply respect our leadership. But that’s not fair. There is no place for misogyny, sexism and racism in any workplace. It doesn’t matter if you own the team or whether you play for the team. We hold our league as an example of our values ​​and that’s not it.

Paul said on Twitter that he was “horrified” by the reportadding that the league’s sanctions “didn’t really address what we can all agree was atrocious behaviour”.



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