Report: Stern eyes NBA-wide sensitivity training

10/6/2007 - NBA New York Knicks

With the New York Knicks reeling from weeks of damaging testimony about the workplace climate at Madison Square Garden, NBA commissioner David Stern is considering making a sexual harassment seminar mandatory for all of the league's teams and employees, The New York Times reported.

This week, a jury ruled that Knicks coach and GM Isiah Thomas and team owner Madison Square Garden were liable in a federal sexual harassment suit brought by former team executive Anucha Browne Sanders. Both Thomas and MSG said they plan to appeal the verdict.

Stern, who was in Istanbul, Turkey to open the Adidas NBA Concept Shop in Istanbul's Taksim Square, said the league would not discipline the Knicks in the wake of the verdict. But he did say he was troubled by the allegations of sexual harassment at Madison Square Garden, and that the NBA is taking the issue seriously, according to the report.

"I can assure the public that sexual harassment is not acceptable in the NBA workplace, and I'm putting this subject on the agenda for the board of governors meeting later this month," Stern said, according to the Times.

The NBA administers a workplace respect seminar for its 1,200 employees, and according to the report, Stern said he is considering making it mandatory for employees of all 30 teams, "because it's not our style to be laggards on issues like this -- nor is it our style to rush to judgment and make meaningless pronouncements."

Stern said he was "very concerned about the subject of treatment of all people in the workplace, and the subject of respect in general," according to the Times.