NBA: Pistons’ assistant GM Rob Murphy fired after sex harassment claim

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 28: Basketball on the court during the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks at Little Caesars Arena on October 28, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan.

FILE–Basketball on the court during the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks at Little Caesars Arena on October 28, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. Rick Osentoski/Getty Images/AFP

A former Detroit Pistons employee said Thursday she was sexually harassed and assaulted by former team executive Rob Murphy, leading to his firing as assistant general manager a day earlier.

DeJanai Raska told Detroit’s WJBK television that Murphy groped her in front of his daughter and at team facilities, and tried to force her into having sex.

Raska is suing Murphy and the Pistons for sexual discrimination and harassment. A complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission could lead to a federal case.

“Silence is not an option,” Raska said. “I really want justice. This is my chance to voice the truth, my way, and it will be heard and take my power back.”

Murphy, a former college coach, was named president of the Pistons’ developmental team in March 2021 and six months later was promoted to oversee scouting for the Pistons before being promoted to assistant general manager of the Pistons in June 2022.

The Pistons placed Murphy on leave last October as they investigated allegations against him, setting the stage for his firing on Wednesday for violating company policy and the terms of his employment agreement.

Raska said she saw the chance at a post with the developmental club as a “dream come true” but soon found her duties were more of those of a personal assistant for Murphy, which set the stage for harassment and assault.

“Rob attempted to force me to have sex with him, and that’s something hard to talk about,” Raska said.

“It was like a nightmare happened. And then being treated this way is heartbreaking. I can’t even watch basketball.”

Raska said she feared she would be fired if she took her issues to human resources but confided in co-workers, one of whom encouraged her to speak up.

“We were both in tears talking about it,” Raska said. “She’s like, ‘You have to say something. He has to be stopped.’ And in that sit-down, I realized that I was going to be the person to stop him.”

Raska contacted attorney Megan Bonanni, who contacted the Pistons with her concerns.

“We gave them a list of what happened and we asked them to investigate and look into it,” Bonanni said.

Raska said she felt “liberated” to hear of Murphy’s suspension and later met with Piston’s attorneys.


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