Robert Sarver withdraws.
Majority owner of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury are seeking “buyers” for the two franchises a week after he was suspended for a year from any activities involving both teams and fined $10 million for “workplace misconduct and organizational deficiencies” discovered during the NBA investigation.
“As a man of faith, I believe in atonement and the path to forgiveness,” Sarver said in a statement Wednesday. “I was expecting the commissioner’s one-year suspension to allow me time to focus, compensate, and remove personal controversy from the teams I love and many of my fans.
“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. For these reasons, I am beginning the process of finding buyers for the Sauns. and Mercury”.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement in response to Sarver’s decision to sell the Suns and Mercury.
“I fully support Robert Sarver’s decision to sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury,” Silver said. “This is the right next step for the organization and society.”
National Basketball Players Association president CJ McCollum has expressed similar thoughts about the situation.
“We thank Mr. Sarver for making a swift decision that was in the best interests of our sporting community,” the New Orleans Pelicans guard wrote in a statement.
Suns Legacy Partners, LLC, agrees with Sarver’s decision.
“We are on a journey that began before last November, a journey that has involved changes in leadership, staff and accountability measures. And while we are proud of our progress and the culture of respect and integrity we are building, we know there is still work to be done and relationships to rebuild. We are committed to doing so for our employees, players, fans and partners. And that’s the community.”
An ESPN report on November 4 sparked what proved to be a 10-month investigation into allegations that Sarver created a “toxic” work environment.
The results of the investigation show that the 60-year-old Sarver used the N word several times and made inappropriate comments towards women.
“Words of profound regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organizations that have brought people together — and strengthened the Phoenix area — through the unifying strength of men’s and women’s professional basketball,” Sarver said in the statement.
Sarver’s penalty has not been well received on multiple levels.
LeBron James, Draymond Green and Chris Paul Suns All Stars expressed their displeasure on social media with just a comment and a hefty fine.
Son Jahm Najafi’s vice president demanded Sarver’s resignation as team owner.
Reverend Al Sharpton wrote in a statement that the punishment was not enough and that Sarver had to go.
PayPal announced in a statement that it will not renew its sponsorship with The Suns next season if Sarver remains involved with the team beyond the 2022-23 season.
Now Sarver has decided to sell both teams.
“For the better part of the past year, I have refused to allow Robert Sarver’s despicable behavior to be swept under the rug,” Sharpton said in a statement on Wednesday. “The racist old boys club in professional sports has officially closed. A new era has come in which we are unlikely to look at black players on They are property. Sarver’s decision today is the first step in the long road toward justice for the Suns and Mercury – the crew, the players and the fans. It is now imperative that the NBA, both teams, the corporate sponsors, and the new owner, whoever it is, follow through on a commitment to rooting out racism and hate Women and hate.
Sharpton called PayPal to separate from Sarver last month. The civil rights leader continues to challenge the NBA over how to handle situations of this nature in the future.
“The NBA’s actions over the past week make it clear that the league should be doing some soul-searching,” Sharpton said in the statement. “I am ready to renew our partnership with the league to advance justice across professional basketball, the sports world as a whole, and our nation.”
The NBA must approve a new majority owner after conducting background checks and due diligence. When looking at the results of the investigation, expect perhaps a deeper and more thorough examination of the potential new owner’s background.
Based on his statement, Sarver appears to have the ability to choose who he wants to sell the Suns to as he owns about 35% of the franchise, but the NBA has a list of potential owners and ownership groups as well.
Sarver bought The Suns in 2004 for $401 million.
The franchise is now worth over $1 billion. Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion after banning Donald Sterling for life for his racist remarks in 2014.
“I don’t want to be a distraction to these two amazing teams and people who are working 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 staff, the fans, the community, my fellow owners, the National Basketball Association and the NBA. This It is the best course of action for everyone,” Sarver said.
“In the meantime, I will continue to work on becoming a better person, and continue to support the community in meaningful ways,” Sarver concluded in his statement. “Thank you for continuing to research Suns and Mercury, and for embracing the power that sport has to bring us together.”
Support the local press. Start your online subscription.