Suns, Sarver decry reported allegations of racism and sexism in potential ESPN story

 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:33 pm    Post subject: Suns, Sarver decry reported allegations of racism and sexism in potential ESPN story

https://nba.nbcsports.com/2021/10/22/suns-sarver-statements-decry-reported-allegations-of-racism-sexual-harassment-by-owner-in-forthcoming-story/

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Suns, Sarver statements decry reported allegations of racism, sexual harassment by owner in forthcoming story

The Phoenix Suns have made a preemptive strike.

ESPN is reportedly close to publishing a bombshell, heavily researched story on Suns’ and WNBA Mercury owner Robert Sarver with allegations of “racism, sexism and sexual harassment in a series of incidents.” While the allegations are not yet public because the story has yet to be published, the Suns and Sarver released strongly-worded statements flatly denying all of it.

pic.twitter.com/iaINS08yUz

— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) October 22, 2021

pic.twitter.com/wMyyZ5TOmt

— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) October 22, 2021


The Suns are almost certainly aware of all the allegations and the evidence to back them up. Professional journalism practice (which ESPN and the writer/writers involved certainly would follow) entails presenting that evidence to Sarver and the Suns and giving them a chance to defend themselves in the story.

This story potentially has echoes of the incident that cost Donald Sterling control of the Los Angeles Clippers. While the NBA had spent years turning a blind eye to rumors, stories and evidence of racism from Sterling — including being accused of racist practices by the Justice Department in 2006, and being sued by his former GM Elgin Baylor — an audiotape of Sterling making racist remarks to his mistress caused then-new commissioner Adam Silver to ban Sterling from the NBA. However, Sterling did not have to sell the team; it took a Machiavellian move by his wife Shelly to wrest control of the team and sell it to Steve Ballmer. Other owners are reticent to vote out one of their own, they don’t like the precedent, but if the scandal hurts the NBA’s bottom line they will.

How this plays out — including if Sarver could lose control of the Suns — is impossible to predict at this minute. The release date of the potential bombshell story has not been announced, but likely would be sooner rather than later after this.

Sarver had already been in the spotlight heading into the season over the Suns’ decision not to offer center Deandre Ayton a max contract extension. For some, this confirmed Sarvers’ reputation as a penny-pinching owner who too often cuts his organization off at the knees in the name of profit.

Whatever happens next, this now hangs over the Suns’ players and coaching staff as they take on the Lakers Friday night, and move into the rest of the season. Chris Paul has been there before, he was a member of the Clippers when the Sterling story blew up.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2021 5:41 pm    Post subject:

Sarver reportedly once suggested that they should have local strippers impregnated by NBA players so the players desire to play close to their children would give the suns an advantage.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2022 1:52 pm    Post subject:

https://nba.nbcsports.com/2022/06/14/report-outgoing-suns-employee-alleges-continued-toxicity-sexism-in-workplace/

Quote:
Report: Outgoing Suns employee alleges continued toxicity, sexism in workplace


The NBA has been investigating the Suns and owner Robert Sarver since November over claims he made racist and sexist comments and oversaw a toxic workplace.

If there were any issues, Phoenix has had this time to clean them up.

Instead, an employee – Melissa Fender Panagiotakopoulos – recently resigned, citing ongoing problems.

Baxter Holmes of ESPN:

A longtime Phoenix Suns employee resigned from the team last month, alleging she became the target of bullying and retaliation by superiors after raising concerns about gender equity and misconduct within the organization, documents obtained by ESPN show.

She did not specifically reference any issues with Sarver, or name any individual employee.

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She alleged that there were “inherent conflicts of interest with managers’ ability to receive commissions, cherry pick deals, revise suite lease terms to line their own pockets, and operate in a different manner than the rest of the sales organization with no true consistent systems or oversight.”

She also alleged inequities and gender discrimination, writing, “Is it a coincidence that I have been the only mother in the entire sales organization for the last 15 years? Is it because certain males were being paid more in equivalent roles?”

Despite the team’s recent on-court success, Panagiotakopoulos wrote the organization has “never been more dysfunctional, and the culture is rapidly eroding.”

The NBA already wasn’t rushing to conclude its investigation. Now, the league has even more to consider.

This probably won’t affect the most common question swirling: Will Sarver lose the team, a la Donald Sterling with the Clippers? Unlike prior allegations, these aren’t directly tied to the owner, though Sarver should ultimately carry responsibility for how the franchise operates.

To that end, the concern just isn’t dissipating.
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