Pastor Al Sharpton calls on the NBA to end Phoenix Suns investigation, remove owner Robert Sarver

Civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton on Saturday called on the NBA to close its investigation into the Phoenix Suns and remove majority owner Robert Sarver — or provide a clear timeline for resolving the problem. Sharpton said if not, he might take demonstrations to Phoenix.

“The owner of The Suns was revealed in an ESPN story last November – how Sarver, the principal owner of Phoenix Suns, made all these racist and misogynistic statements. And [the NBA] Sharpton said at the New York City headquarters of the National Action Network, a civil rights organization he founded in 1991. “Well, how long does an investigation take when you have videos and people that come forward?

I entered the call [Friday] To the NBA we want them to close the investigation and remove it [Sarver] Or tell us the timetable under the agreement.”

The National Action Network is scheduled to hold its annual conference April 6-9 in New York City.

“We will not allow people to influence the culture of the NFL or the NBA, insult us and act like this is acceptable behavior,” Sharpton said. “They think, because it was November, everyone forgets that, which is why we wanted to put that pressure on. So we, at the Phoenix Suns.”

NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN Saturday that the investigation, which is being undertaken by Wachtell Lipton Law Firm, “is ongoing and will take the time necessary to complete a comprehensive and comprehensive review of the matter.”

Bass said any potential action by the NBA would not occur until after the investigation was completed.

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The NBA began its investigation into The Suns and Sarver in early November 2021, hours after ESPN released its story — based on interviews with more than 70 current and former employees — that included allegations of racism and misogyny in hostile and toxic workplaces in some Frequently in Phoenix during Sarver’s 17-year tenure.

Sarver denied most of the allegations detailed in the ESPN story.

Since then, New York-based lawyers for Wachtell Lipton, who previously led the property-focused investigations into the L.A. Clippers and Atlanta Hawks, have interviewed more than 300 individuals, most of them current and former employees, sources close to the investigation previously told ESPN. Those sources said lawyers also gained access to many documents, such as internal emails and human resources records.

The employees confirmed a range of allegations posted while introducing others, sources previously told ESPN, and provided investigators with documents, specifically emails.

Sharpton’s announcement Saturday comes after members of a new coalition of civil rights activists, which includes four members of Sharpton’s National Action Network, sent a letter on March 11 to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, as well as the NBA Board of Governors, who called for Sarver to be invited. . Removal.

The letter from the 10-person group, which advertises itself as the American Sports Accountability Project, reads: “We are deeply troubled by reports of racism, misogyny and abusive behavior allegedly committed by the majority owner of Phoenix Suns, Robert Sarver. “. “There is absolutely no tolerance for such behavior in today’s society, and we expect the NBA and its leadership to hold Mr. Sarver responsible for these despicable acts, as happened in the case of Donald Sterling.”

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Sharpton was part of a delegation that met Silver in 2014 and pressed for a quick resolution regarding the investigation of Donald Sterling, the former Clippers owner who was banned from the league over racist comments that emerged from a taped conversation.

The American Sports Accountability Project, or ASAP, has also launched a website and social media hashtag for its campaign: #SackSarver.

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