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Phoenix Suns vice chair calls for Sarver’s resignation

FILE – Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver applauds the teams 107-99 victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves during an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, in Phoenix. The NBA has suspended Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury owner Robert Sarver for one year, plus fined him $10 million, after an investigation found that he had engaged in what the league called “workplace misconduct and organizational deficiencies.” The findings of the league’s report, published Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, came nearly a year after the NBA asked a law firm to investigate allegations that Sarver had a history of racist, misogynistic and hostile incidents over his nearly two-decade tenure overseeing the franchise .(AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)

Phoenix Suns vice chairman Jahm Najafi released an open letter on Thursday calling for the team’s majority owner Robert Sarver to resign after he was suspended in response to an investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct.

“In accordance with my commitment to helping eradicate any form of racism, sexism and bias, as Vice Chairman of the Phoenix Suns, I am calling for the resignation of Robert Sarver,” wrote Najafi in the letter published by The Arizona Republic.

“I have no choice but to speak up on behalf of the hundreds of you who have been impacted by your interactions with Robert Sarver and the resulting investigation of his conduct.”

The NBA investigation into Sarver, which culminated in a one-year suspension from his ownership and a fine of $10 million, found that the businessman had engaged in misogynistic and racist conduct in the workplace.

Najafi noted that the report found that Sarver used the “N-word” multiple times and regularly made demeaning and sexually harassing comments toward women.

“There should be zero tolerance for discriminatory actions of any level, in any setting, let alone a professional one,” Najafi wrote.

The vice chairman added that Sarver’s position as owner of the team should not excuse him for exhibiting harmful behavior.

“I cannot in good judgment sit back and allow our children and future generations of fans to think that this behavior is tolerated because of wealth and privilege,” continued Najafi.

“While I have no interest in becoming the managing partner, I will work tirelessly to ensure the next team steward treats all stakeholders with dignity, professionalism and respect.”

Tags Arizona Republic Jahm Najafi Jahm Najafi National Basketball Association Phoenix Phoenix Suns Robert Sarver workplace misconduct

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