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Suns minority owner calls for Robert Sarver to resign after NBA report on workplace misconduct

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Several prominent NBA figures, including LeBron James and Chris Paul, have called for the expulsion of Phoenix Suns majority owner Robert Sarver from the league after an investigation revealed rampant workplace misconduct.

Now this group has a new ally: the owner of the second largest stake in the team.

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Suns vice chairman Jam Najafi, a Phoenix-based private investor, issued an open letter to Suns staff and players on Thursday condemning the behavior described in the NBA report and calling for Sarver’s resignation as the team’s managing partner via Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic:

I cannot rationally sit back and let our children and future generations of fans think that such behavior is acceptable because of wealth and privilege. Therefore, in keeping with my commitment to help eradicate all forms of racism, sexism and bias, as vice chairman of the Phoenix Suns, I am calling for the resignation of Robert Sarver. While I have no interest in becoming a Managing Partner, I will work tirelessly to ensure that the team’s next Steward treats all stakeholders with dignity, professionalism and respect.

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The NBA suspended Sarver from all league activities for one year and fined him $10 million, but did not force him to sell the team, as they did with former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver defended the decision, pointing out the differences in the two cases.

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Among other things, the league’s investigation found that Sarver used the N-word on at least five occasions when he delivered statements from black people, humiliated and intimidated female employees, and made inappropriate physical contact with male employees.

The Suns have since appointed another vice chairman, Sam Garvin, as interim governor of the team.

This isn’t the first time Najafi has spoken out against Sarver, as he called the accusations “unacceptable” if true when they were first reported last year and apparently sent a clear message by attending a Suns game with Colin Kaepernick. with whom he worked together. – leads the company.

Phoenix Suns minority owner Jam Najafi is calling for the resignation of majority owner Robert Sarver following a scathing report about team workplace toxicity.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns minority owner Jam Najafi is calling for the resignation of majority owner Robert Sarver following a scathing report about team workplace toxicity. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Full text of letter from Suns minority owner Jam Najafi about Robert Sarver

An open letter to Phoenix Suns staff and players:

Due to the NBA’s investigation and findings, I have no choice but to speak up on behalf of the hundreds of you who have been affected by your interactions with Robert Sarver and the subsequent investigation into his conduct. First of all, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you who mustered up the courage to share your experiences, no matter how difficult, to help paint a clearer picture of what your working life should have been like during these years. last 18 years.

There should be zero tolerance for discriminatory acts of any level, in any setting, not to mention professional ones. There is no doubt that the findings showed that the obscene, misogynistic and racist behavior of Mr. Sarver has had a significant negative impact on you and has no place in our society. The report confirmed by several eyewitnesses that Robert Sarver used the “N-word” at least 5 times. The report confirms that Sarver is involved in the humiliation of women and pregnant employees. The report confirms that Sarver made rude and sexually inappropriate comments in a professional setting. The report confirms that Sarver made inappropriate comments about the appearance of employees and other women, as well as inappropriate physical behavior in the workplace towards male employees.

WORDS AND ACTIONS MATTER.

Similar behavior on the part of any CEO, CEO, president, teacher, coach, or any other managerial position warrants immediate dismissal. The fact that Robert Sarver “owns” the team does not give him the right to treat others differently than any other leader. The fact that anyone would consider him fit to lead because of this “ownership” position means forgetting that NBA teams belong to the communities they serve. Team investors are just temporary managers. If we, as sports leaders, do not hold ourselves to the same standards, then how can we expect a functioning society with integrity and respect at every level? We owe it to you: employees, players, partners and your families to provide the same supportive work environment that we demand from any other business.

I cannot rationally sit back and let our children and future generations of fans think that such behavior is acceptable because of wealth and privilege. Therefore, in keeping with my commitment to help eradicate all forms of racism, sexism and bias, as vice chairman of the Phoenix Suns, I am calling for the resignation of Robert Sarver. While I have no interest in becoming a Managing Partner, I will work tirelessly to ensure that the team’s next Steward treats all stakeholders with dignity, professionalism and respect.




Source: sports.yahoo.com

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