Former Phoenix Suns employees who had signed nondisclosure agreements have begun scheduling and participating in interviews with the lawyers leading the NBA's investigation into the team, multiple former employees said.
Over the past week, the lawyers informed the former employees that they would be released from the agreements in order to speak freely for the investigation, the former employees said. Those who signed NDAs will not be fully released moving forward, the former employees said, and are being released only for the purpose of participating in the investigation.
Some who signed NDAs have already met with the lawyers while others have interviews scheduled in the days ahead, employees said.
The NBA launched its investigation, using the law firm Wachtell Lipton, in early November after ESPN published a report that included allegations of racism and misogyny in a sometimes hostile and toxic workplace during majority owner Robert Sarver's 17-year tenure.
The lawyers leading the investigation met with several current employees this week at an off-site location. Some of the interviews lasted more than an hour.
Before their interviews, current and former employees told ESPN they had prepared extensive notes about allegations they wanted to share, dates of incidents and names of other witnesses to specific accounts. Some provided lists of current and former employees, along with their contact information, who could corroborate certain allegations.
In the interviews, the lawyers stated that confidentiality and anonymity will be granted if the employee requests it, sources said. In addition to general biographical information, the lawyers have primarily focused their questioning on racially inappropriate or misogynistic behavior from Sarver, current and former employees said.
Three additional lawyers from Wachtell have been brought in to help conduct the interviews in Phoenix, current and former employees said.