Penny Toler sues Los Angeles Sparks, claiming retaliation

An ugly set of accusations from the former Sparks GM

Penny Toler filed an explosive lawsuit against the Los Angeles Sparks, former team president Christine Simmons and 50 other unidentified people on Tuesday, alleging a pattern of conduct from senior members of the team’s front office that included multiple sexual relationships, and said that her termination last October came as retribution for speaking up about those relationships, as first reported by Doug Feinberg of the Associated Press.

High Post Hoops has independently confirmed the suit, and you can read the full complaint here.

Toler, the longtime general manager of the Sparks, was fired last October. At the time, the team said it was the result of using a racial slur during a postgame tirade.

But Toler, in her lawsuit, alleges instead that this was merely a pretext for retaliating against her for speaking up about sexual misconduct involving senior members of the Los Angeles Sparks, and former Sparks and current Wings head coach Brian Agler.

“This case is a telling reminder of how women continue to be discriminated against and
treated far less favorably than their male colleagues in the workplace – even when the workplace is the WNBA,” the lawsuit alleges.

“We are aware of the Associated Press story regarding a lawsuit filed by Penny Toler against the Los Angeles Sparks but have no comment at this time,” a spokesperson for the WNBA said.

The Wings and the Sparks did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment on the suit.

According to Toler, Simmons and team managing partner and governor Eric Holoman engaged in a long-term extramarital affair, one that complicated her job. She also said that Agler, who was Sparks coach from 2015-2018, used offensive language and engaged in a relationship with a player.

Toler also said that Simmons was sexually involved with a Sparks ball boy, and that Toler confronted Simmons about it.

Toler told the AP that she engaged with the Sparks for several months to try and find an amicable resolution, but ultimately felt she had no choice but to file suit.

Brendon Kleen contributed reporting to this story.

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