Basketball: In turmoil, the owner of the Phoenix Suns wants to lose the franchise

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BasketballIn turmoil, the owner of the Phoenix Suns wants to lose the franchise

Suspended for a year by the NBA for racist and misogynistic behavior, Robert Sarver has declared his intention to sell the franchise, which also includes the Mercury women’s team playing in the WNBA.

Robert Sarver has owned the Phoenix Suns since 2004.

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Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, suspended for one year by the NBA for racist and misogynistic behavior, announced Wednesday his intention to sell the franchise, which also includes the Mercury women’s team playing in the WNBA.

“Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organizations that have brought people together — and strengthened the Phoenix area — through the unifying power of men’s and women’s professional basketball,” Sarver wrote in a statement. “I expected the one-year suspension to give me time to make amends and push the controversy away from me. […] But in the current unforgiving climate, it’s become clear that it’s no longer possible that all the good I’ve done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I’ve said in the past. “, he continues, describing himself as” a man of faith, believing in the path of forgiveness “. “For these reasons, I led the process of finding buyers for the Suns and Mercury. I don’t want to upset either these two teams or the people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of the basket to fans around the world,” he concluded.

“It’s become clear that it’s no longer possible that all the good I’ve done, or could still do, is overtaken by things I’ve said in the past.”

Robert Sarver, owner of the Phoenix Suns

Sanction judged judged

Sarver has been accused of racist, misogynistic and sexist behavior in an investigation by the sports media giant ESPN in November 2021, which was based on the testimony of more than 70 employees of the Suns. Appointed after the fact by the NBA, an independent commission of inquiry established that the leader had “clearly violated” the rules of good conduct governing the North American basketball championship. Among other reprehensible remarks, he had notably pronounced the word “n***” at least five times. (n-word), but also told one of his employees, while she was pregnant, that she would no longer be able to do her job properly if she became a mother. He is also accused of having had a relevant attitude of harassment, of using sexually connoted language and of having said “words that do not take racial sensitivities into account”, according to the conclusions of the investigation.

As a result, NBA boss Adam Silver suspended her from performing any official duties, which was fined $10 million. But the sanction, announced on September 13, was deemed defeated by several stars, including LeBron James and Chris Paul, who plays for the Suns. “Like many others, I became aware of the report, he wrote on Twitter. This attitude, particularly towards women, is unacceptable and must not be reproduced. I am of the opinion that the penalties were not commensurate with what we can all consider to be atrocious behavior.”

Then the noose tightened on Sarver: the vice-president of the franchise, Jahm Najafi, who also owns shares in the Suns, asked for his departure, the executive director of the players’ union (NBPA), Tamika Tremaglio, believing, she, that he should “never again occupy a management position” in the league after his “horrible” conduct. Finally, sponsor PayPal threatened to end its partnership with the club.

(AFP)

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