Robert Sarver. | Reuters


The owner of Real Mallorca, Robert Sarver, has been fined ten million dollars by the NBA (National Basketball Association) after an independent investigation determined that he had displayed racist behaviour and engaged in demeaning behaviour towards employees.

The investigation was launched after an ESPN report in November last year accused Sarver and others at his Phoenix Suns franchise of racism, misogyny and sexual harassment.

According to the NBA report and ruling, Sarver used the 'N' word at least five times. He made inappropriate comments related to sex and in reference to the physical appearance of women, while he also showed inappropriate physical behaviour towards men.

As well as the fine, the NBA has suspended him for twelve months, meaning that he will be removed from the leadership and management of both the NBA and WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) teams for the duration of the suspension. He will also have to undertake an education process focused on respect and proper conduct in the workplace.

The fine is the maximum that the NBA can levy. The money will be donated to associations that work against sexual and racial discrimination.

The NBA's ruling does not directly affect his interests in Real Mallorca. The club's managing director, Alfonso Díaz, said after hearing the news on Tuesday that this would have "no effect" on Real Mallorca. It was something that "had happened in the United States". He stressed that the behaviour of club's largest shareholder during his time on the island "has always been exemplary" and emphasised that there have been no accusations of racism or sexism.