x

USA

Sarver Should Resign, Says Suns Vice Chairman Jahm Najafi

September 16, 2022

Phoenix Suns vice chairman Jahm Najafi called Thursday for team owner Robert Sarver to resign, saying there should be “zero tolerance” for lewd, misogynistic and racist conduct in any workplace.

Sarver was suspended for one year and fined $10 million by the NBA on Tuesday, after a 10-month investigation showed the Suns owner had used racist language, made crude and sexually suggestive comments to employees, and had bullying tendencies.

“I cannot in good judgment sit back and allow our children and future generations of fans think that this behavior is tolerated because of wealth and privilege,” Najafi wrote in a letter released through a public-relations firm. “Therefore, 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.”

Najafi has been critical of Sarver throughout this saga, which broke when ESPN released a story in November detailing widespread claims of wrongdoing by Sarver. That reporting prompted the NBA to commission an investigation. Najafi is one of three vice chairmen for the Suns, with several other minority investors also part of the ownership group.

Once the investigation ended, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver decided a one-year suspension and $10 million fine was the appropriate penalty. He said Wednesday that one key finding by outside investigators — that while Sarver “repeated or purported to repeat the N-word on at least five occasions spanning his tenure with the Suns,” investigators made “no finding that Sarver used this racially insensitive language with the intent to demean or denigrate” — likely spared him a much stiffer penalty.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Suns guard Chris Paul later released statements on social media saying the NBA’s sanctions of Sarver didn’t go far enough.

Najafi agreed. In his letter, he also said he has “no interest” in becoming the managing partner.

“Similar conduct by any CEO, executive director, president, teacher, coach or any other position of leadership would warrant immediate termination,” he said in the letter released through the LAVIDGE public relations firm. “The fact that Robert Sarver ‘owns’ the team does not give him a license to treat others differently than any other leader. The fact that anyone would find him fit to lead because of this ‘ownership’ position is forgetting that NBA teams belong to the communities they serve.”

Najafi’s letter was released on the same day Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and some of the city’s councilmembers released a statement saying they were “appalled by the actions” that were detailed in the Sarver report.

“It is unacceptable for the organization’s leadership to be associated in any way with the despicable actions detailed in the report,” that statement said. “We are equally concerned about a culture that would enable these actions to occur time and again, with — at most — ineffective disciplinary action.”

 

RELATED

DALLAS  — Luka Doncic scored 25 of his 29 points in the first half, Kyrie Irving added 21 points and the Dallas Mavericks emphatically extended their season on Friday night, fending off elimination by beating the Boston Celtics 122-84 in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

1 of 2 Abducted Louisiana Children is Found Dead in Mississippi after Their Mother is Killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said.

WASHINGTON  — The Supreme Court on Friday struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, the rapid-fire gun accessories used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.  — Donald Trump marked his 78th birthday on Friday night by addressing a fawning crowd in Florida and repeatedly dismissing his opponent in November’s election, 81-year-old President Joe Biden, as too frail to handle a second term.

WASHINGTON  — Speaker Mike Johnson said Friday that the House will go to court to enforce the subpoena against Attorney General Merrick Garland for access to President Joe Biden's special counsel audio interview, hours after the Justice Department refused to prosecute Republicans’ contempt of Congress charge.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.