Phoenix mayor investigating potential action against Suns’ Robert Sarver

Sep 15, 2022, 4:24 PM
Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver attends the NBA game against the Chicago Bulls at Footprint Center...
Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver attends the NBA game against the Chicago Bulls at Footprint Center on March 18, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns beat the Bulls 129-102. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said in a statement on Thursday that she has asked city staff to investigate any potential actions to take after the release of a report on Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver on Wednesday.

Gallego, along with Councilmembers Debra Stark, Betty Guardado, Yassamin Ansari and Carlos Garcia said they are “appalled by the actions substantiated in the NBA’s independent investigation into Phoenix Suns’ managing partner Robert Sarver.”

“We are extremely disappointed to learn of the awful actions that were allowed to take place within the organization and the lack of organizational safeguards to protect the victims of these acts and hold their perpetrators accountable,” the release reads. “Over the years, elected officials who serve the City of Phoenix have taken direct actions to create a safe and welcoming environment for all Phoenicians.

“Within our city, actions of discrimination and hate, based on a person’s race, color, religion, gender identity, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability, are unacceptable, intolerable, and unlawful. The Phoenix Suns are known by millions of people around the world and represent our city and region to a large and loyal fan base.

“It is unacceptable for the organization’s leadership to be associated in any way with the despicable actions detailed in the report. We are equally concerned about a culture that would enable these actions to occur time and again, with – at most – ineffective disciplinary action.”

The report from an investigation done independently of the NBA that resulted in a one-year suspension and $10 million fine for Sarver includes that he “clearly violated common workplace standards” via “use of racially insensitive language; unequal treatment of female employees, sex-related statements and conduct; and harsh treatment of employees that on occasion constituted bullying.”

The statement from Gallego on Thursday follows point guard Chris Paul and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James tweeting on Wednesday they did not feel the league’s punishment given to Sarver was enough.

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