- Robert Sarver announced that he plans to sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury following a one-year suspension and a $10 million fine for workplace misconduct.
- Sarver said he’s selling because of the “unforgiving climate right now.”
- Many in the NBA and sports have criticized the league’s punishment for Sarver as being too light.
Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury owner Robert Sarver said Wednesday that he plans to sell the NBA and WNBA teams as a result of the “current unforgiving climate.”
The bombshell announcement came after the NBA fined and suspended Sarver, following an independent investigation that found he used the “N-word” at least five times while working out with teams and made repeated “sexist” comments. related to” women workers.
“The words I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of union building that brought people together — and strengthened the Phoenix area — through the power of unifying men’s and women’s professional basketball,” Sarver said. in a statement issued on Wednesday.
He added, “As a man of faith, I believe in atonement and the path of forgiveness, I expected that the one-year suspended commission would be a time for me to focus, change things and resolve personal conflicts.” Remove the groups I was in. and many fans who love it.
“But in our current unforgiving environment, it is painfully clear that this is not possible – that any good I have done, or may yet do, outweighs the things I have already said. For these reasons, I beginning the process of finding buyers for the Suns and Mercury,” Sarver said.
The $10 million fine levied against Sarver is the maximum allowed by the NBA.
However, there were several people who criticized the punishment of the NBA.
Lakers Superstar LeBron James and Chris Paul, the Suns guard, both took to social media to say that the NBA’s punishment has decreased. James wrote that there is “no place” for Sarver in the league.
On Tuesday, Draymond Green said in his video that NBA owners should hold a vote to end Sarver’s ownership.
“It’s a little bit surprising to me that we’re going to walk into the arena next year, the Phoenix Suns are going to walk into the arena next year, he’s going to sit on the sidelines, and we’re going to continue playing,” Green said. He added that anyone else in the league would be severely punished if they acted the way Sarver did.
Meanwhile, after the investigation, Suns vice president and minority owner Jahm Najafi issued a statement calling for Sarver’s resignation.
“The fact that Robert Sarver says ‘the team’ doesn’t give him license to treat others differently than any other leader,” Najafi wrote.
He added: “I cannot sit back and allow our children and future generations of supporters to think that this behavior is tolerated because of wealth and privilege. Therefore, in line with my commitment to help commit to the elimination of all forms of racism, sex and gender bias. As Vice President of the Phoenix Suns, I am calling for the resignation of Robert Sarver.”
Last week, PayPal, the Suns’ financial sponsor, announced it would not continue its partnership with the team if Sarver returned to ownership.
Many people have compared the situation to the former owner of the LA Clippers Donald Sterling, who was filmed making racist comments to black people with his girlfriend. The NBA banned Sterling for life and shortly after, the Clippers were sold.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the comparison during a press conference after the league announced Sarver’s punishment. Silver noted that he cannot single-handedly take a team away from an owner.
“I have no right to take his team,” Silver said. “I don’t want to rest on that legal point because, of course, there can be a way to take someone’s team in this league. It’s very involved, and finally I made that decision. [Sarver’s behavior] I have not reached that level.”
Silver added: “It’s beyond the pale in any way possible to use the language and practice it, but it was a completely different kind of thing than what we saw in that. [Sterling] case.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that many people see the sun as a desirable product.
Source : www.insider.com