Robert Sarver begins ‘buyer-finding process’ for Suns and Mercury after NBA suspension

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Robert Sarver announced on Wednesday that he would begin “the process of finding buyers” for Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury.

Sarver’s announcement came after the NBA suspended him for a year and fined him $10 million after an investigation found he had made racist and misogynistic remarks,

“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 said in a statement. communicated.

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Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver and wife Penny Sanders attend Game 2 of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Footprint Center on October 13, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Mercury beat the Sky 91-86 in overtime.

Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver and wife Penny Sanders attend Game 2 of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Footprint Center on October 13, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Mercury beat the Sky 91-86 in overtime.
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“As a man of faith, I believe in the atonement and the path of forgiveness. I expected the commissioner’s one-year suspension to give me time to focus, make amends, and remove my personal controversy from the teams that I and so many other fans love.

“But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that this 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 these reasons, I am beginning the process of finding buyers for the Suns and Mercury.

“I don’t want to be a distraction to these two teams and the great people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of basketball to fans around the world. I want the best for these two organizations, the players, the employees, the fans, the community, my co-owners, the NBA and the WNBA, this is the best course of action for everyone.

WARRIORS’ DRAYMOND GREEN REACTS TO SUNS OWNER ROBERT SARVER’S ONE-YEAR NBA SUSPENSION: ‘IT’S BULL —-‘

FILE - Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver watches the team play against the Memphis Grizzlies during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix, Dec. 29.  11, 2019.

FILE – Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver watches the team play against the Memphis Grizzlies during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix, Dec. 29. 11, 2019.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

“In the meantime, I will continue to work to become a better person and continue to support the community in meaningful ways. Thank you for continuing to cheer on the suns and the mercury, embracing the power that sport has to bring us together.”

The NBA had come under pressure to remove the Suns from Sarver after the league said he ‘repeated the N-word while recounting the statements of others’ at least five times and ‘engaged in instances of unfair conduct towards female employees, had made numerous sexual-workplace-related comments, made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women, and on several occasions engaged in inappropriate physical behavior towards employees male.”

Commissioner Adam Silver said he had “no right” to withdraw the team or force it to sell.

“I don’t have the right to remove his team. I don’t want to dwell on that legal point because, of course, there could be a process to remove someone’s team in this league,” he said. Silver said last week. “It’s very involved, and I finally made the decision not to reach this level. But for me, the consequences are serious here for Mr. Sarver.”

Sarver recognized the discipline in a separate statement.

April 19, 2022;  Phoenix, Arizona, USA;  Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver against the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs First Round at Footprint Center.

April 19, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver against the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs First Round at Footprint Center.
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

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“Good leadership requires accountability. For the Suns and Mercury organizations, it starts with me,” he said. “While I disagree with certain details of the NBA report, I would like to apologize for my words and actions that have offended our employees. I take full responsibility for what I have done. .I’m sorry I caused this pain and these errors in judgment are not in line with my personal philosophy or values.”