Blaming an ‘Unforgiving Climate,’ Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver Says He’s Out of the Game

Photo: Ross D. Franklin (AP)

It was already confirmed that Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver is a racist and sexist person who received a slap on the wrist from the NBA for his despicable behavior in the workplace. Many already condemned the NBA for their weak punishment of Sarver including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Draymond Green and PayPal.

Now, it seems all of the criticism has gotten to Sarver as he announced on Wednesday that he plans to sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury.

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Sarver wrote in a statement:

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.

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.

But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear 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.

I do not want to be a distraction to these two teams and the fine people who work 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 employees, the fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone.

In the meantime, I will continue to work on becoming a better person, and continuing to support the community in meaningful ways. Thank you for continuing to root for the Suns and the Mercury, embracing the power that sports has to bring us together.

It was ridiculous that the NBA suspended him for one year and fined him $10 million in the first place. Any other employee would be fired. But Sarver, who is worth $800 million, received a one-year vacation.

Thankfully, he is doing the work for the league and leaving on his own. Good riddance, that man needed to go. The things he was found to have done to employees within the Suns and Mercury organizations were damn near unforgivable.

After a bombshell report from ESPN, an independent investigation found that Sarver, among other things, used the N-word on multiple occasions “when recounting the statement of others” and also engaged in “instances of inequitable conduct towards female employees.” Which included inappropriate sex-related comments and comments about the physical appearance of female employees, according to the NBA.

The way Sarver treated and spoke to people is not simply forgiven after an apology. It damn sure is not forgiven after a one-year suspension. So, it’s a good thing for the future of the NBA that this man is not involved in the league.

The only thing that sucks is that Sarver is probably going to make a fortune off of selling the Suns and Mercury. Other than that, the NBA is better today than it was yesterday.

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