NBA gives NFL a lesson in transparency regarding allegations of workplace misconduct

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For more than a year, the NFL has successfully concealed any specific information developed by attorney Beth Wilkinson during an 11-month investigation into the Washington Commanders and owner Daniel Snyder. Today, the NBA made public its findings regarding the following The investigation of the Phoenix Suns and owner Robert Sarver,

The investigation involved information gathered from interviews with 320 individuals, including current and former employees of Sun and Phoenix Mercury, the WNBA team that Sarver also owns. And, unlike the NFL’s investigation of Commanders and Snyder, the NBA’s investigation of Sons and Servers involved few nuances.

The NBA investigation found that Sarver “engaged in conduct that clearly violated general workplace standards, as reflected in team and league rules and policies,” and that “[t]His conduct included the use of racially insensitive language; Unequal treatment of women employees; statements and conduct relating to sex; and harsh treatment of employees that sometimes takes the form of bullying.” Specifically, “On at least five occasions during his tenure with the Sun/Mercury organization, [Sarver] Reiterating the statements of others repeating the n-word, “he” engaged in abusive and harsh treatment of employees, including yelling and cursing at them.

The investigation also found examples of workplace misconduct caused by employees other than Sarwar, including “racial insensitivity, mistreatment of female employees, inappropriate remarks related to sex or sexual orientation, and abusive communication”. In addition, the investigation concluded that the human resources function at Sons was “historically ineffective and not a reliable resource for employees who were subject to acts of inappropriate workplace conduct.”

Sarwar has been suspended for one year. And this is a real suspension. He cannot move around in any capacity. He may also not be involved in Sun or Mercury business or basketball operations. The NBA personally fined Sarver $10 million.

The team was fined $10 million in Snyder’s case. He was not suspended; He is believed to have agreed to step down from the day-to-day management of the team. It hasn’t been reinserted yet. Earlier this year, Washington Times reported that Snyder has resumed his former duties.

The NBA disclosed information about Sarwar without disclosing the identities of any witnesses. Conversely, the NFL justified Snyder’s misconduct as complete confidentiality by claiming that any disclosure would violate any promise made, or claims made, by the league to keep everything secret about the investigation. . As the NBA has shown, specific information about owner misconduct may be disclosed without the names of those who cooperated.

Statement when the NFL announced the results of the Commanders’ workplace review no information In relation to the specific operations in which Snyder was engaged.

It is still unclear why the NFL did not provide any information about Snyder’s specific actions, or why a written report was not requested from Wilkinson. It has been reported and confirmed that Wilkinson would have recommended that Snyder be forced to sell the team if he had reduced to writing his recommendations.

If the facts on which that opinion was based came to light, public pressure on the league could be overwhelming to force Snyder to sell the team. And the league will likely have to do what it clearly doesn’t want to do — fight to sell Snyder, given that he’ll likely engage in a scorched-earth lawsuit. He probably finds a way to share with the media what he potentially knows about the alleged misconduct of other owners (we’re not saying that any such information exists), who then find himself in a mess of his own. could get.

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