Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver suspended, fined $10 million

Phoenix Suns, Robert Sarver (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Robert Sarver (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The NBA has suspended Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million after findings from a detailed investigation on his conduct within the workplace.

Findings continue to be revealed in an investigation that involved 320 interviews and over 80,000 documents. Further details have expanded on what can only be described as a horrifying and embarrassing situation for the businessman.

Findings from the NBA’s Robert Sarver investigation must place enormous pressure on his ownership of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury.

Sarver’s place as owner of both Phoenix franchises has been under scrutiny since initial reportings on his actions in November last year. It must be said, the recent on-court success of the Suns and Mercury may have glossed over the troubling issues within their respective organisations.

The report alleges Sarver has used the ‘N’ word on multiple occasions, while also undertaking strange and harrowing sexual acts upon both male and female employees. The Suns produced the below statement, including words from Sarver himself.

One must question Sarver’s ability to ‘learn and grow’ – as a successful businessman for nearly 40 years, this may well be a consistent theme across workplaces. The grotesque details also disparages Sarver’s claim that “these errors in judgement are not consistent with my personal philosophy or my values”.

This is not one or two examples of ‘errors in judgement’, but rather a multitude of issues that have become intertwined within the culture of the Suns and Mercury organisations. To truly make amends for these issues and rejuvenate the franchises reputation, then surely Sarver has to be removed on a full-time basis.

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For the moment, according to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, “Sarver will be working with the NBA to appoint an interim governor for the Suns to serve during his one-year suspension”.