September 24, 2022

Robert Sarver says he has begun the process of selling the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury, a move that comes just eight days after he suspended by the NBA for misconduct in the workplace including racist speech and hostile behavior towards employees.

Server he announced Wednesday, saying a sale was “the best course of action.”

“But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that this is no longer possible — that all the good I have done, or could still do, outweighs the things I have said in the past,” Sarver wrote in a statement. “For these reasons, I am beginning the process of looking for buyers for Sun and Mercury.”

Robert Sarver
Phoenix Suns and Mercury Owner Robert Sarver October 13, 2021

Christian Petersen / Getty

Sarver bought the teams in July 2004. He is not the sole owner, but the primary one.

“Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organizations that brought people together,” he wrote Wednesday.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a brief statement Wednesday afternoon saying, “I fully support Robert Sarver’s decision to sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury. This is the right next step for the organization and the community.”

Last week, the NBA suspended Sarver for a year and fined him $10 million after investigation found he was involved in what the league called “workplace misconduct and organizational deficiencies.”

NBA stars LeBron James and Chris Paul were critical of the punishment, saying it did not go far enough. Suns sponsor PayPal also said will not renew the team’s sponsorship if Sarver remains the owner of the team.

The findings of the league’s investigation come nearly a year after the NBA asked a law firm to investigate allegations that Sarver had a history of racist, misogynistic and hostile incidents during his nearly two-decade tenure overseeing the franchise.

The report based its findings on interviews with 320 people, including current and former employees who worked for both teams while Sarver was managing partner, as well as more than 80,000 documents and materials such as emails, text messages and videos, it said. is the NBA.

“I don’t want to disrupt these two teams and the good people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of basketball to fans around the world,” Sarver said. “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.”

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