Phoenix Suns vice chairman and minority owner Jahm Najafi, the team’s second-largest shareholder, called on majority owner Robert Sarver to step down in an open letter to team employees released Thursday night, saying there should be zero tolerance for immoral, unethical and unethical behavior. Racist behavior in any workplace.

Sarver was suspended for a year by the NBA and fined $10 million after the NBA released the results of a 10-month independent investigation into his nearly two-decade tenure as the Suns’ managing partner.

Najafi, who has been critical of Sarver since the allegations were first reported by ESPN in November, is one of three vice-chairmen and several other minority investors are part of the ownership group.

In the letter, Najafi “ensures the immediate termination of any such role as CEO, executive director, president, teacher, coach or any other leadership position.” When a man finds himself qualified to lead, he forgets that he belongs to NBA teams. the communities they serve.

“We are only temporary stewards of team investors. If we don’t hold ourselves to the same standards as sports leaders, then how can a community operate with integrity and respect at any level? And your families to provide the same positive workplace that we demand from any other business.”

“I cannot sit back and allow our children and future generations of fans to think that this behavior is fueled by wealth and privilege. Therefore, in line with my commitment to eradicating racism, sexism and bias of any kind, I am calling for the resignation of Phoenix Suns Vice Chairman, Robert Sarver.”

Among the allegations substantiated by the investigation by the law firm Wachtel, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Sarver was found to have repeated the N-word on at least five occasions while quoting others — “four after being told by black and white subordinates not to use the word, even repeating the word,” the report said. . The investigation also found “unfair practices against female employees,” including “gender-related comments” and inappropriate comments about employees’ appearance.

Najafi went on to write that while he has no interest in becoming a Sun management partner, “I will work tirelessly to ensure that the next team manager treats all stakeholders with dignity, professionalism and respect.”

Najafi released a statement in November 2021, hours after ESPN’s investigation was published, saying, in part, “The group’s investors are simply temporary stewards of this treasure. It is our stewardship to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and equality.”

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James And the Suns point guard Chris Paul Also voicing the NBA’s displeasure with Sarver’s punishment, Paul wrote on Twitter, “I believe the sanction falls short of properly addressing the egregious behavior we all agree on.”

The same day Najafi’s letter was released, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and some city council members issued a statement saying they were “appalled by his actions” at the actions detailed in Sarver’s report.

“It is unacceptable for the organization’s leadership to be associated in any way with the offensive practices outlined in the report,” the statement said.

In a statement, Gallego added, “As leaders of the city of Phoenix, we have asked city staff to review any actions we may take in light of the details identified in the report.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.