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NBA investigation of Robert Thurber reveals more abusive behavior in sports

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I don’t want to write this column, and neither do you.

Sports fans are fed up with the whole theme. People in sports give terrible names to the games we love.

I’m talking about entitled bullies. Misogyny and scoundrels. People who walk the line between being racist and being completely ignorant and outright hatred.

I’m talking about players and team owners who wield their power like a club and act like they can do anything to anyone they want.

Today, we speak to Robert Sarver, owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. The NBA suspended him for a year and fined him $10 million after he was found to have abused an employee over the age of 18. – Tenure. The NBA said its staff abuses included servers repeatedly using racist slurs against black people, making sex-related comments at work, and treating women unfairly. rice field.

The league’s report does not conclude that “Mr. Thurber’s workplace misconduct was motivated by racial or gender-based hostility.”

In a statement Tuesday, Thurber said he disagreed with “some of the details” in the NBA report but apologized for his words and actions.

It feels like a constant drum beat. This week, I write about a man who is the sport’s latest blow, he’s one of the most important parts of our cultural life.

Server is not well known to the average fan, but he does know the team he owns and oversees. The Suns and Mercury are long-standing pillars of the league. The Suns nearly won his NBA championship in his 2020-21 season and had a league-best performance last season. Mercury captured the world’s attention by winning his three WNBA titles. Because Mercury star his center Britney Griner has been imprisoned in Russia and is at the center of a geopolitical storm.

Server and his team were put under the microscope last year. Lawyers hired by the NBA have sued his 60-year-old owner’s actions after ESPN reported him cheating and the toxic work environment he created while the Suns and Mercury tried to win championships. I started paying attention.

The types of behaviors investigators reported are so familiar, and have occurred in so many other cases, that it doesn’t take long to guess what they entail. check. Employee bullying and intimidation? check.

After speaking with more than 300 current and former employees and examining over 80,000 documents, emails, text messages, and videos, investigators discovered that the server was particularly offensive and racist in terms beginning with the letter “N”. I found that I was repeatedly using the . Poor thing, he couldn’t help himself even when his men warned him to stop.

The league also reported that Thurber ran the team like he was the sophomore president of the rowdiest flathouse on campus.

Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder is currently under investigation by Congress and the NFL for sexual harassment.

Sounds a lot like former Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was banned from the NBA in 2014 for racism.

Much like Jon Gruden, the former broadcaster and NFL coach who headed the Las Vegas Raiders, until my colleagues Ken Belson and Katherine Rothman published emails spreading misogyny and racism. It sounds like

It sounds a lot like Richie Burke, former manager of the Washington Spirit of the National Women’s Soccer League.

There are similarities. It is a force that overwhelms vulnerable people in the hope that they will not be affected.

There is no escape from the way our society deifies the rich, powerful and respected, and the way so many figures in the sport exploit their position at the expense of others.

Enough with sports abuse. And we will find the chaos and turmoil in the sports league, loopholes and excuses, and do our best to those who are behaving in a way that harms others.

Same old story this week. A river of gnashing commentary from the NBA’s league offices over whether server punishments are strong enough.

At a press conference Wednesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thurber’s actions over the past 18 years were “indefensible,” but there was no talk of removing him as team owner.

When asked where to draw the line regarding owner behavior, Silver said, “There is no clear line when it comes to ownership. I don’t want to create a line that suggests people can go as far as that line.” Silver believes Thurber has “clearly evolved as a person in those 18 years,” adding that the owner “has been notified.”

We all deserve better. It’s time to shed the old juvenile network that protects those who often receive light consequences that fail to signal real change.

Don’t let the rich and qualified dirty sports do more than they already are.

Servers are in the news now. Next week, next month, or next year, it will be a different person. We all want to be able to focus on the beauty of competition and the excellence of a memorable performance.

I can’t stop breathing. don’t hold your stuff