Robert Sarver announces plans to sell Phoenix Suns
Ricky Gray | September 22, 2022
Sarver was suspended for one year and fined $10m last week for misconduct.
In an interesting and unexpected move, Owner Robert Sarver has announced his plans to sell the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury franchises.
Sarver was recently suspended for one year and fined $10m after an investigation found he used the N-word at least five times “when recounting the statements of others.”
He was also involved in “instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees,” including “sex-related comments” and inappropriate comments on employees' appearances.
In a statement on Wednesday, Sarver said: “As a man of faith, I believe in 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.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he “fully supports” the move by Sarver to sell the teams.
Sarver continued: “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.”
Although he doesn’t own the entire team, Sarver has the authority, as managing partner, to sell the team in full. Later in the day the partners released a statement supporting Sarver’s decision.
In regard to the accusations, Sarver added: “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.”
Sarver’s partners could attempt to purchase his stake in the team before the sale.