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After being suspended for a year and fined $10 million by the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a result of an investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct, the owner of the Phoenix Suns, Robert Sarver, announced on Wednesday that he is looking for buyers for the team. This comes a week after Sarver was given the suspension and the penalty by the NBA.
An impartial inquiry concluded that Sarver, who purchased the Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA in 2004, engaged in unequal treatment of female employees. This treatment included “sex-related comments” as well as inappropriate remarks on the employees’ appearances.
It was discovered that Sarver, who had shown complete cooperation throughout the inquiry process, had used a racial slur on at least five different instances “while relaying the allegations of others.”
In a statement, Sarver claimed that “words that I greatly regret now eclipse nearly two decades of developing organizations that brought people together and enriched the Phoenix area via the unifying power of professional men’s and women’s basketball.”
“As a devout follower of Christ, I have faith that there is a way to make amends and find forgiveness… However, given the harsh nature of the environment in which we currently find ourselves, it has become brutally obvious that this is no longer viable. “Whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past,” he explained.
“Because of these factors, I have decided to start the process of looking for potential owners for the Suns and Mercury.”
The conclusion that Sarver came to was supported by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
In a brief statement, Silver expressed his belief that “this is the correct next move for the organization and community.”
The premier player for the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, who had previously criticized the league for what he considered to be an insufficiently severe punishment, expressed his satisfaction with Sarver’s decision.
“I am overjoyed to be a part of a league that is dedicated to making advancements!” James stated on his Twitter account.
After a story was published by ESPN in November 2021 that revealed charges of racism and sexism that occurred during Sarver’s tenure, the NBA decided to launch its own inquiry into the matter. Sarver has refuted the charges and stated that he is open to an investigation into the matter.
In 2004, Sarver paid a total of $401 million to acquire the Suns. According to Forbes, the squad had an initial valuation of $1.8 billion at the start of the previous season.
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