October 4, 2019 / 10:05 PM / 15 days ago

LA Sparks general manager ditched after rant at players

(Reuters) - The general manager of the Los Angeles Sparks Women’s NBA team was fired on Friday after ESPN reported that she made racially insensitive remarks in a profanity-laced rant at the players.

Penny Toler’s tirade came after the Sparks last month lost game two of their WNBA semi-finals against the Connecticut Sun, who went on to sweep the series 3-0.

Toler, who is African-American, acknowledged in an interview with ESPN on Thursday that she had used a racial epithet but said her remarks were not directed at the players.

“By no means did I call my players the n-word,” she said.

“I’m not saying that I couldn’t have used it in a context, but it wasn’t directed at any of my players.”

Toler had been with the organization since 1999

Sparks managing partner and governor Eric Holoman said in a statement: “On behalf of ownership and the entire Sparks organization, I’d like to thank Penny Toler for a successful and historic tenure with the organization,” .

“Penny is a foundational figure in the growth of the WNBA and helped lead our franchise to perennial playoff success and multiple titles.”

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris

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