PHOENIX SUNS

NBA-hired law firm investigating Suns to arrive Tuesday, begin interviews

Nov 12, 2021, 10:00 AM
NBA commissioner Adam Silver looks on during a game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder...
NBA commissioner Adam Silver looks on during a game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 20, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The NBA-hired firm investigating allegations against the Phoenix Suns and owner Robert Sarver will arrive in Arizona on Tuesday, reports Arizona Sports’ Dan Bickley.

Wachtell Lipton law firm, which has conducted workplace investigations of NBA teams for the league office in the past, will conduct the review of the Suns.

The NBA announced Nov. 4 it had opened an investigation after ESPN published an article where more than 70 former and current employees lent allegations that Sarver and the Suns have fostered a poor workplace culture, especially for women and minorities. Sarver, through his lawyers to ESPN, denied many of the allegations that he acted inappropriately.

“The allegations contained in today’s ESPN article are extremely serious, and we have directed the Wachtell Lipton law firm to commence a comprehensive investigation,” NBA vice president of communications Mike Bass said in a statement announcing the league review. “The NBA and WNBA remain committed to providing a respectful and inclusive workplace for all employees. Once the investigation is completed, its findings will provide the basis for any league action.”

Regarding the initial ESPN report, 12 Suns minority owners have announced support for Sarver in statements released through the team. Sarver and those minority owners have said they look forward to the NBA investigation into the allegations.

“It’s important to us and to me that every employee feels they play a central role in building something special,” read a statement from Suns president and CEO Jason Rowley, in response to the accusations. “In the workplace, we’ve always tried to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce that prides itself on treating and paying our employees fairly and providing for their upward mobility.

One team owner, Jahm Najafi, released his own statement through his company that said he hoped for full accountability and that he would aid any investigation.

“I have been made aware of the allegations against Robert Sarver, the managing partner who runs the Phoenix Suns,” Najafi’s statement said. “The conduct he is alleged to have committed has stunned and saddened me and is unacceptable. The well-being and safety of every Suns employee, player, coach and stakeholder is first and foremost our priority.

“The Phoenix Suns is a national treasure that belongs to all of us as fans and residents of our community. Team investors are simply temporary stewards of this treasure. It is our job as stewards to ensure everyone is treated respectfully and equally. Although today’s revelations fall under the jurisdiction of the League which decides and takes any action based on its finding, I offer my support to ensure there is full accountability.”

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