The L.A. Sparks have fired General Manager Penny Toler after she admitted using the N-word in a post-game rant following a playoff loss.
"Toler was relieved of her duties and will no longer be with the organization, effective immediately," the Sparks said in a statement.
"A national search will begin immediately to identify the next general manager of the Sparks. Managing Partner and Governor Eric Holoman will assume the duties in the interim."
As we previously reported, Toler entered the locker room following a Sept. 19th loss to the Connecticut Sun and unleashed in an emotional tirade.
Toler later spoke to ESPN and acknowledged using the word — but insists it was not directed as a slur toward one of her players.
"It's unfortunate I used that word," Toler said … "I shouldn't. Nobody should. … But you know, like I said, I'm not here to defend word by word by word what I said. I know some of the words that I'm being accused of are embellished."
"Did I give a speech that I hoped would get our team going? Yes."
Despite the controversy, the Sparks are praising Toler for what she accomplished during her 20 seasons with the franchise.
"Penny is a foundational figure in the growth of the WNBA and helped lead our franchise to perennial playoff success and multiple titles."
"We wish her nothing but the best moving forward."
Under her leadership, the Sparks made the playoffs 18 times and won WNBA titles in 2001, 2002 and 2016. Toler was a founding member of the WNBA and played for the Sparks from 1997-1999, scoring the first basket in WNBA history.