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Robert Saver suspended by NBA

Robert Saver suspended by NBA

NBA takes action against Robert Sarver after an independent investigation regarding the statements and conducts of the Managing Partner of the Phoenix Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury during his18-years tenure. This comes barely a month before the 77th NBA regular season, which will bring many changes and betting possibilities for those with an original betting account via agent

NBA looks into Sarver’s case

The law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz was hired by the NBA to make light on the teams’ workplace issues raised in a publication by ESPN.com, on November 4, 2021. The task was accomplished based on interviews with Mr. Sarver, 320 persons who worked for the teams during the period under consideration, and other relevant individuals. Over 80,000 documents of diverse forms including videos were equally analyzed and the findings resumed as follows:

  • During his tenure at Suns/Mercury, Mr. Sarver repeatedly used the N-word, a racial slur, on at least 5 different occasions
  • Sarver indulged in the use of insensitive racial treatment; unequal treatment of female workers and sometimes bullying of male employees.
  • Sarver engaged in the demeaning treatment of employees; yelling and cursing at them.

As per the report, no findings show that Mr. Sarver’s established misconduct was guided by racial or gender-based prejudice and the concerned informed the investigators of his efforts to promote practices of equity and inclusion at the Suns/Mercury organization. However, it was clearly stated that Mr. Sarver violated common workplace standards and engaged in racial-sex offensive practices. Based on these, the NBA officially announced its actions regarding Mr. Sarver.

NBA sanctions against Mr. Sarver

As of September 13, 2022, NBA suspends Mr. Sarver for one year from the Suns/Mercury organization. Specifically, he will not:

  • Be present at any NBA/WNBA team facility and events including games and partner activities.
  • Represent the Sun/Mercury Organization in any public and private capacity
  • Be involved with any business or basketball operation and governance related to the Sun/Mercury Organization
  • Attend any meetings of the league and associated Board committees.

In addition, Mr. Sarver must complete a training program on workplace respect and conduct during his suspension and will pay a $10 million fine destined for organizations promoting gender and race equality.  Moreover, actions were equally taken against the Suns/Mercury administration to address the shortcomings of the organization and other Sun employees that were revealed by the investigation.

NBA Requirements for Suns/Mercury Organization

The report stated how Sun’s Human Resources has been historically ineffective and was not a trusted resource for employees subjected to improper workplace conduct. Though the organization took a step towards amending this by the hiring of a new head of HR in July 2021, the NBA now requires more workplace improvements that it will oversee. As such, Suns/Mercury Organization is expected to;

  • Retain an external firm to evaluate and make recommendations regarding workplace policies and procedures
  • Conduct regular anonymous workplace culture surveys and respond accordingly
  • Immediately report significant employee misconduct
  • Provide the league with regular reports for 3 years, concerning actions taken by the organization to address these requirements 

Indeed, Phoenix Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury are required to follow the league's direction for the improvement of workplace issues when they arise. This marks a turning point in the history of the American Professional Basketball teams as they head for the awaited NBA tournament to be widely covered by our sports news section.