Portland Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey is under investigation for alleged workplace misconduct. The news comes from Shams Charania of The Athletic, who released the following on Twitter:
Sources: The Portland Trail Blazers and owner Jody Allen have launched an investigation into president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, hiring a firm to probe alleged workplace misconduct.
According to Charania, the Blazers are not offering further details at this time:
When contacted about the investigation on Friday night, the Trail Blazers said: “We don’t have a comment on this matter at this time.” Allen also declined to comment on Friday night.
Olshey has occupied the lead executive seat in Portland since 2012. Jody Allen has been primary owner of the franchise since October of 2018, upon the passing of her brother, Paul who purchased the team in 1988.
We will update this story as further details become available.
Update 11:20 PM, Pacific
The Athletic now has a story up offering that the allegations involve “at least one employee”:
At least one Portland employee has reported potential misconduct that sparked an investigation into Olshey, multiple sources said.
Update 11:54 PM, Pacific
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports has provided further details of the allegations against Olshey. He cites league sources when giving the following description:
employees [are] alleging a toxic, hostile work environment where staff members have been subjected to intimidation and profanity-laced tirades, among other bullying tactics
He further elaborates the steps the franchise is taking:
The organization enlisted the services of O’Melveny & Myers to run the independent investigation, and the firm began interviewing employees of the team’s front office off-site this week, with several staffers expressing the relief because of the investigation after 10 years of mistreatment leading to mental and physical stress, sources said.
Haynes says that Olshey’s future will depend on the results:
The firm is shortly expected to submit its findings to team owner Jody Allen, and a decision on Olshey’s future will be determined soon after, sources said.
Most staff members are hopeful that the investigation brings change after feeling voiceless and unheard for so long, sources said.
Haynes also referenced the death of Video Coordinator Zach Cooper in 2020, saying Blazers staff members “raised concern” about unnamed “mishandling” following Mr. Cooper’s passing.
Update 12:00 PM, Pacific 11/6/2021
The Trail Blazers have released an official statement on the matter.
The Portland Trail Blazers organization was recently notified of concerns around workplace environment by non-player personnel at the practice facility. In response, we immediately engaged D’Melveny & Meyers, an outside firm with significant expertise in this area, to conduct a full, fair, and independent review into these concerns and will take appropriate action based on its outcome. While we cannot comment on this pending matter, we are committed to continuing to build an organization that positively impacts our colleagues, communities, and the world in which we live and play.