Robert Sarver, the owner of the beleaguered basketball team, announced the business after a recent independent investigation found he was involved in hostile, racially insensitive and inappropriate behavior on Wednesday. will sell The Phoenix Suns of the NBA and Mercury of the WNBA.
NBA last week Sarver was suspended for a year and fined $10 million investigation result.
“Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organizations that have brought people together — and strengthened the Phoenix area — through the uniting power of men’s and women’s professional basketball,” Sarver, a managing partner for both teams, said in a statement. .
Sarver had hoped that the comment would “give me time to focus, make up and remove my personal controversy,” the statement continued.
“But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that this is no longer possible—anything good that I have done, or can still do, is outweighed by the things I have said in the past,” he said. “For these reasons, I am beginning the process of finding buyers for Suns and Mercury.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he fully supported the decision.
“This is the right next step for the organization and society,” the commissioner said.
A detailed investigative report, commissioned by the NBA last fall following an ESPN report on Sarver’s alleged behavior, found that “on at least five occasions during his tenure with the Suns/Mercury organization, he repeated the N-word when listing others’ statements.”
In addition, according to the report, Sarver has engaged in instances of unfair behavior towards female employees, made numerous comments regarding workplace sex, made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women, and on several occasions participated in inappropriate acts. Physical behavior towards male employees.”
Sarver apologized after the report was released, although he noted that he disagreed with “some of the details”.
Suns Legacy Partners, which manages the NBA and WNBA teams, said the decision to sell is best for the organization and the community.
“We also know that today’s news does not change the work we still have to create, maintain and protect the best-in-class experience for our employees, players, fans, partners and the community,” the group said in a statement. . “While we are proud of our progress and the culture of respect and integrity we are building, we know there is still work to do and relationships to rebuild.”
NBA players such as Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, Suns guard Chris Paul and Golden State Warriors striker Draymond Green have criticized the league, saying they I felt the penalties were too short which should have been imposed.
On Tuesday, Green said in his podcast that Sarver can no longer represent the NBA, adding that the behavior described in the report is “inconsistent with everything that the NBA stands for.”
“The NBA stands for inclusion. NBA stands for diversity. The NBA definitely stands against bigotry and racism,” Green said on “The Draymond Green Show.” This report released last week is the opposite of everything the NBA stands for.
the suns The Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Jahm Al-Nujaifi, called Sarver to resignand the team’s sponsor, PayPal, has threatened not to renew his deal with the team if Sarver remains as owner.
After Sarver’s announcement Wednesday, James said in a tweet He was “so proud to be part of a league committed to progress!”
“We thank Mr. Sarver for making a quick decision that was in the best interests of our athletic community,” said CJ McCollum, president of the National Basketball Players Association, who plays in New Orleans.