Robert Sarver announces plans to sell NBA's Phoenix Suns, WNBA's Mercury amid controversy

Robert Sarver announces plans to sell NBA’s Phoenix Suns, WNBA’s Mercury amid controversy

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – OCTOBER 13: Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver attend Game Two of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Footprint Center on October 13, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Mercury defeated the Sky 91-86 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

One week after the NBA levied a one-year suspension and $10 million fine against Robert Sarver, the embattled owner announced plans on Wednesday to sell the Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.

“I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury,” Sarver said in a statement.

The NBA last week released a 43-page report based on an independent law firm’s 10-month investigation into allegations of racism, misogyny and other workplace misconduct against Sarver. Among the most damning findings from 320 interviews and the review of more than 80,000 documents was evidence that Sarver “said the N-word at least five times in repeating or purporting to repeat what a Black person said,” despite multiple warnings that “he could never say the N-word, even when quoting someone else.”

The investigation uncovered an extensive list of instances in which Sarver was found to harass male and female employees. In one example, according to the report, he threatened a pregnant employee’s role because her “baby needs their mom, not their father,” and then called a meeting with a lawyer who told the woman that Sarver “had done nothing wrong.” On another occasion, he “exposed his genitals to a male employee who was on his knees,” the report said. The investigation laid out in detail dozens more offences.

In the immediate aftermath of his suspension and fine, Sarver said last week in a statement, “While I disagree with some of the particulars of the NBA’s report, I would like to apologize for my words and actions that offended our employees. I take full responsibility for what I have done. I am sorry for causing this pain, and these errors in judgment are not consistent with my personal philosophy or my values.”

“I accept the consequences of the NBA’s decision,” he added, vowing to “learn and grow” in his absence.

Given the volume of accusations and evidence, the NBA came under heavy criticism for not banning Sarver for life, as it had done in light of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist remarks in 2014.

Check back soon for more details.

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