Robert Sarver, owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, has been suspended one year and fined $10 million by the NBA as a result of the league’s investigation into the Suns franchise.
The NBA announced the punishment Tuesday, saying its investigation found that during his time with the Suns and Mercury, Sarver used the N-word at least five times “when recounting the statements of others.”
There also were “instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees,” the NBA said in its statement, including “sex-related comments” and inappropriate comments on employees’ appearances.
The NBA commissioned an investigation after ESPN published a story in November 2021 detailing allegations of racism and misogyny during Sarver’s 17 years as owner.
As part of the suspension, Sarver is not allowed to be around any NBA or WNBA facility, including offices or practice facilities. He’s also not allowed to be a part of any NBA or WNBA event or activity, or represent the Suns or Mercury in a public or private way.