PHOENIX — Editor's note: The above video aired during a previous broadcast.
The NBA has released the findings of an investigation launched nearly a year ago into Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver after an ESPN.com article accused him of racism and sexism in the workplace.
Sarver issued a statement of apology after the release and said that he accepted the consequences of the NBA's decision.
The statement read in part:
"Good leadership requires accountability. For the Suns and Mercury organizations, that begins with me. While I disagree with some of the particulars of the NBA’s report, I would like to apologize for my words and actions that offended our employees. I take full responsibility for what I have done. I am sorry for causing this pain, and these errors in judgment are not consistent with my personal philosophy or my values."
Sarver did not specify which particulars of the NBA report he disagreed with.
Likewise, the Suns Legacy Partners who manage and operate the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury released a statement saying that they're committed to "creating a safe, respectful, and inclusive work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment."
"We nevertheless take seriously the NBA’s findings and will implement the workplace improvements the NBA has identified, to the extent that we have not yet done so," their statement read in part.
During the investigation, the NBA held interviews with 320 people including current and former employees, and reviewed over 80,000 documents and other materials.
>> Download the 12News app for the latest local breaking news straight to your phone.
The findings seemingly confirm many of the accusations, including Sarver using the N-word, treating female employees in an unequal way, and making sex-related and physical appearance comments towards female employees.
As a result of the findings, the association has suspended Sarver from all NBA or WNBA activities for a year and fined the manager the maximum penalty of $10 million. Sarver has also been ordered to complete a training program focused on appropriate workplace conduct.
"The statements and conduct described in the findings of the independent investigations are troubling and disappointing," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.
The Phoenix Suns Legacy Partners said that they will be hiring new HR leadership, and reviewing and updating their code of conduct to implement the improvements that the NBA identified.
This is a developing story. Tune in to 12News for the latest information.
More ways to get 12News
On your phone: Download the 12News app for the latest local breaking news straight to your phone.
On your streaming device: Download 12News+ to your streaming device
The free 12News+ app from 12News lets users stream live events — including daily newscasts like "Today in AZ" and "12 News" and our daily lifestyle program, "Arizona Midday"—on Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
12News+ showcases live video throughout the day for breaking news, local news, weather and even an occasional moment of Zen showcasing breathtaking sights from across Arizona.
Stay up-to-date on the latest Arizona sports stories with 12 News.