Adam Silver apologizes to Suns employees over Robert Sarver

0
12

[ad_1]

Robert Sarver is selling the Suns, but the NBA has admitted that it “let down” the organization’s employees who endured the disgraced owner’s racist, sexist behavior that resulted in a one-year ban and $10 million fine for the team.

“I’m incredibly empathetic to what many of you have lived through.” commissioner Adam Silver said on Wednesday in a nearly hour-long address to hundreds of employees that included team executives and the team’s interim governor, Sam Garvin, according to ESPN. “To the extent that you feel let down by the league, I apologize. I take responsibility for that.”

During the conversation, Silver was asked what he had heard about the workplace environment under Sarver.

Adam Silver
Adam Silver
AFP via Getty Images
Owner Robert Sarver of the Phoenix Suns reacts as his team plays the Dallas Mavericks in Game five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2005 NBA Playoffs
Owner Robert Sarver of the Phoenix Suns reacts as his team plays the Dallas Mavericks in Game five of the Western Conference semifinals during the 2005 NBA Playoffs.
Getty Images

“Did I hear ever that Robert could be difficult to deal with? Sure,” Silver said. “But that’s very different than conduct which is viewed as discriminatory in any way.”

An investigation into the workplace culture of the Suns and WNBA’s Mercury — which Sarver also owns and is likewise selling — following an ESPN report last year revealed that the 60-year-old used the N-word on multiple occasions when recounting the statements of others, made inappropriate sex-related comments about the physical appearance of women and displayed other inappropriate behavior toward employees. The firm that conducted the investigation, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, found the Suns’ human resources department was also so bad that it was categorized as “historically ineffective and not a trusted resource for employees who were subjected to acts of improper workplace conduct.”

The day after the NBA announced the findings in September, Silver said the NBA hadn’t received any calls to its confidential employee hotline and that no formal complaints had been filed. He reiterated as much to Suns employees on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

“Obviously, it’s a failure of an overall system, of a league of 30 teams,” Silver said, per the report.

Owner Robert Sarver and Cappie Pondexter #23 of the Phoenix Mercury celebrates after defeating the Indiana Fever during Game Five of the WNBA Finals
Owner Robert Sarver and Cappie Pondexter of the Phoenix Mercury celebrates after defeating the Indiana Fever during Game 5 of the 2009 WNBA Finals.
NBAE via Getty Images

Asked how the league could allow teams to operate with a measure of freedom while also expecting them to hold themselves to a certain standard, Silver reportedly said it’s an evolving process with new reporting systems and other changes but that a “safe workplace” is important.

One employee reportedly expressed “lingering frustration” with the team’s initial statements that defended Sarver and asked how employees could move forward.

“You do need to talk about it,” Silver said. “I think it’s healthy.”

[ad_2]

Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here