Robert Sarver, owner of Phoenix’s NBA and WNBA teams, to be investigated after ESPN report

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Robert Sarver, owner of Phoenix’s NBA and WNBA teams, to be investigated after ESPN report
Robert Sarver, owner of Phoenix’s NBA and WNBA teams, to be investigated after ESPN report

The ESPN report cites examples where Sarver used the N word and inappropriate language, which in turn created a hostile work environment. The sports network said it interviewed more than 70 people for the story. Sarver, who has been the majority owner of Suns and Mercury since 2004, said the report was inaccurate and misleading. “Let me be clear: the N-word is not part of my vocabulary,” he said on Thursday. “I have never called anyone or a group of people the N word, or used that word to refer to someone or a group of people, either verbally or in writing. I do not use that word. It’s hideous and ugly and degrading. “And against everything I believe in.” ESPN interviewed former Suns head coach Earl Watson, who says Sarver used the N word repeatedly in 2016 when debating whether Sarver, who is white, could use the word. Watson has a Mexican-American mother and a black father. “You know why Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors striker) got to run in court and say (N word) “Watson recalled Sarver telling him. Watson says he told the team owner he couldn’t use that word.” Why? “Reportedly, Sarver replied,” Draymond Green says (N-word). “Sarver said Watson was not credible.” Mr. Watson created an unprofessional and toxic atmosphere in our organization, “he said.” Now we are able to try to refute things that did not happen. “Sarver said, he greets a U investigation. Watson, now an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors, said in a statement to the media that he was not interested in “participating in an ongoing battle of the facts”. and staff members who fight toxic environments of racial insensitivity, sexual harassment and microaggression with their truth, “he said. Watson said the experience was traumatic and while he doesn’t want to repeat it every day, he’ll look into the matter if Several unnamed employees told ESPN that Sarver made inappropriate sexual comments during staff meetings. Specific examples were Sarver describing his sex life with his wife. ESPN said he would also publicly ask players about their sex life In the report, Sarver denies publicly speaking about his or anyone else’s sex life. The ESPN story quoted a former employee who said that Sarver would ask questions like, “Do I belong to you? Are you one of me? ”Throughout the ESPN report, Sarver, through legal representation, denies the most serious reports of racist and sexually accused language. In an incident in which Sarver is accused of pulling down an employee’s pants in front of more than 60 people , Sarver, through his attorneys at ESPN, confirmed the report and apologized to the employee. The ESPN investigation came to light two weeks ago and was immediately rejected by Sarver, the Suns and Mercury before the story was published, October 22nd said Sarver in a statement pending the release of the report: “I am utterly shocked by some of the allegations ESPN is making about me personally or about the Phoenix Suns and Mercury organizations,” said Sarver. “Although I don’t know how I responded to some to respond to vague suggestions from mostly anonymous voices, I can certainly tell you that some d he claims of my nature and the character of the Sun / Mercury are completely contrary to Workplace and I can tell you that this never happened. ” On the same day, both the Suns and Mercury issued statements describing the upcoming ESPN report as “baseless” inspection report. On Thursday, Suns vice chairman Jahm Najafi released a statement stating: “I was made aware of the allegations against Robert Sarver, the managing partner of the Phoenix Suns, for the conduct he is alleged to have committed made me stunned and saddened and is “unacceptable.” He added, “My heartfelt condolences go to all whose lives and jobs have been affected to ensure that there is full accountability to investigate the league’s decision. According to a biography on NBA.com, Sarver is the chairman of the board of directors of Western Alliance Bancorporation, an Arizona-based financial institution and co-founder of Southwest Value Partners, a real estate mutual fund. CNN has asked each group for comments. CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect Robert Sarver’s latest role at Western Alliance Bancorporation. He is the chairman of the board of directors of the financial institution. CNN’s Steve Almasy and Jill Martin contributed to this report.

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