It's been seven months since ESPN first published an eye-opening report on Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver and the wild amount of allegations against him that include racist remarks, sexual harassment and verbal abuse towards employees.
The Suns have played all season long with the investigation quietly being worked on in the background. Yahoo Sports reports over 300 people were interviewed in the process by March when Sarver himself was supposed to speak with investigators.
Adam Silver Believes Suns Investigation is Almost Finished
Are we nearing the conclusion of the investigation? NBA commissioner Adam Silver believes so:
“No, no update other than we’re getting close to the end,” Silver said to Yahoo Sports. “There’s no question about it. It’s a complex investigation. There are hundreds of people who are involved and need to be interviewed. And we also want to make sure we protect the rights of everyone involved. So these things by nature, I know what frustrates people, do seem to take a lot of time, but we’re certainly getting very close to the end.”
Here's some more notable quotes from the initial ESPN story back from November:
Anonymous Quotes on Sarver
- "If the commissioner comes in and investigates to see what the f--- is going on in Phoenix," one current business operations employee told ESPN, "[he] would be appalled."
- "Women have very little value," one female former staffer said she felt. "Women are possessions. And I think we're nowhere close to where he thinks men are."
- "It was a clown show," said one former basketball operations staffer. "Guys are jumping up and down looking ridiculous, and I'm getting texts from coaches around the league, like, 'What are you guys doing?'" Said another former basketball operations staffer, "It becomes more of a circus and, 'Let's stand up and clap and appease Robert as opposed to doing what our job actually is, which is trying to coach the basketball game.'"
- Said another current employee, "If I knew -- and I wish I knew what I was coming into -- I would have never taken the job here. Never."
Sarver released the following statement nearly two weeks before the ESPN story was published:
“I am wholly shocked by some of the allegations purported by ESPN about me, personally, or about the Phoenix Suns and Mercury organizations. While I can’t begin to know how to respond to some of the vague suggestions made by mostly anonymous voices, I can certainly tell you that some of the claims I find completely repugnant to my nature and to the character of the Suns/Mercury workplace and I can tell you they never, ever happened.
“First and foremost, I reject any insinuation of personal or organizational racism or gender discrimination. I despise language that disrespects any individuals, regardless of race, gender, preference, or choice. Such language has no place in business or at home in what I consider Suns and Mercury families. I am proud of our record of diversity and inclusion on both teams – whether on the court or in the front office.
“I don’t begin to know how to prove that something DIDN’T happen, and it is difficult to erase or forget ugly accusations once they are made. Even hints of racism or sexism in our culture today are toxic and damaging and should not be lightly raised. I categorically deny any and all suggestions that I used disparaging language related to race or gender. I would like to think that my actions and public record regarding race, gender, or discrimination of any kind, over a lifetime in business and community service, will adequately answer any questions anyone might raise about my commitment to equality and fairness.”
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