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The Suns are facing fresh accusations of a toxic workplace culture

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the Phoenix Suns The organization faced new allegations in an explosive ESPN report Monday as executives up and down the hierarchy were accused of participating in an alleged toxic culture.

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The report came months after Robert Sarver agreed to begin a “buyer hunt” for the Suns after an NBA investigation found that The owner of the team used the N-word. On at least five occasions he made “many sex-related comments” to employees. The NBA suspended him for a year and fined him $10 million.

The new report indicated that Sarver was not the only one allegedly participating in the negative atmosphere surrounding the organization. Jason Rowley, the Suns president and CEO who joined the organization in 2007 and later became COO in 2011, was among those confronted with allegations in the report. ESPN reported that Suns officials could not be fired unless Sarver gave approval.

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A general view of motion as Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns flicks the ball up during the second half of an NBA game at Footprint Center on October 19, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Rowley faced several accusations of inappropriate treatment of female employees. He was accused of insulting a pregnant woman and kicking her out after she returned from maternity leave. He was also accused of grossly overreacting to minor issues such as a scheduling error with a restaurant to encourage the security manager to fire the employee who prevented Rowley’s wife from entering a security zone.

Melissa Goldenberg, the general counsel, reportedly told another pregnant employee “that the team didn’t have an official maternity leave policy because Robert doesn’t believe in any of it.” Sarver denied this idea to ESPN.

A Suns employee also alleged she was harassed by a sponsor representative in 2019 when the team was playing in Mexico City. The actor reportedly apologized for the incident, including sending the employee his hotel room number and photos of the room.

The Sun responded to the report in a statement.

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April 19, 2022;  Phoenix, Arizona, USA;  Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver vs. the New Orleans Pelicans during Game 2 of the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs at the Footprint Center.

April 19, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver vs. the New Orleans Pelicans during Game 2 of the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs at the Footprint Center.
(Mark J. Rebellas – USA Today Sports)

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In September, at the conclusion of a full investigation, the NBA and an outside firm released a comprehensive report on workplace culture at Suns Legacy Partners, and we will continue to do work using the findings of the report to grow and improve. We will continue to be accountable to staff, partners, fans, players, and the NBA. basket, where we follow the NBA’s guidelines on workplace culture, including creating confidential and secure channels to report any issues anonymously.As we’ve said before, we’re on a journey that began before last November, and it’s a journey that has involved changes Intrinsic leadership, staffing, policies and accountability measures.”

“At the beginning of this process, we encouraged all of our employees to participate in interviews for the NBA’s external investigation and investigated the issues raised in this report. We continue to encourage employees to use internal channels to report issues as they arise. Create a safe space for employee feedback and an environment of accountability, and we explore The facts relating to each complaint will be based on its merits, and we will continue to keep any investigations and their findings internal and confidential.

As a reporter for Today’s Story told us while reviewing his questions, there are factual inaccuracies not supported by the findings of internal or external investigations already completed, including incorrect attribution of confidential allegations made as part of the NBA investigation. However, as we move forward, we do so with Knowing that we were not a perfect organization. Our current leaders have taken responsibility for allegations that have been substantiated through investigations. We remain all committed to learning, growing, and upholding a culture of respect.”

Close-up view of the Phoenix Suns logo during the game against the Orlando Magic on November 10, 2017 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Close-up view of the Phoenix Suns logo during the game against the Orlando Magic on November 10, 2017 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
(Michael Gonzalez/NBAE via Getty Images)

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NBA spokesperson Mike Bass added, “Both of the sales process Phoenix Suns and Mercury Alleged misconduct by others in the organization continues to be reviewed. And that review will remain a matter of internal staff.”

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