Robert Sarver to sell Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury teams after racism allegations

Sarver allegedly used the ‘N word’ for at least five times for referring to a black person.

Tejas RathiAuthor

Updated - 22 September 2022 12:35 AM

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Robert Sarver has announced to sell his professional teams, P hoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury due to the damning report that found him involved in harassment and inappropriate behaviour in both workplaces. The 60-year-old has been a majority owner of these franchises since 2004.

Following the 43-page report published by the independent team last Tuesday (13 September), NBA slapped a one-year suspension and fined him $10 million, which was the maximum penalty. Soon, Suns Vice Chairman Jahm Najafi, who is the second highest stake in the franchise also urged employees to write a letter calling for Sarver to resign.

A total of 320 interviews and a review of more than 80,000 documents were encompassed in the report by the investigation team. The findings suggest that Sarver used the ‘N word’ for at least five times for referring to a black person. He was also found to harass male and female employees, while also exposing his genitals to the former.

After relentless pressure from the fraternity and fans, Sarver thinks it’s impossible for him to continue being the owner after serving a one-year suspension as well. As a result, he has arrived at the decision to sell both franchises.

Here is Sarver’s statement on the development:

"Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organizations that brought people together – and strengthened the  Phoenix  area – through the unifying power of professional men's and women's basketball."

"As a man of faith, I believe in the atonement and the path to forgiveness. I expected that the commissioner's one-year suspension would provide the time for me to focus, make amends and remove my personal controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love."

"But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible – that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past. For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury."

"I do not want to be a distraction to these two teams and the fine people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of basketball to fans around the world. I want what's best for these two organizations, the players, the employees, the fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone."

"As a man of faith, I believe in the atonement and the path to forgiveness. I expected that the commissioner's one-year suspension would provide the time for me to focus, make amends and remove my personal controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love."


"But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible – that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past. For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury."

"I do not want to be a distraction to these two teams and the fine people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of basketball to fans around the world. I want what's best for these two organizations, the players, the employees, the fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone."

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