Robert Sarver has announced plans to sell his NBA Suns and WNBA’s Mercury football teams of Phoneix after racism and misogyny allegations.
On Wednesday, Sarver said in a statement that I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury.
Sarver made this decision after he was fined $10m and suspended for one year by the NBA last week after an investigation into allegations of racism and misogyny during his time as the Suns’ owner.
NBA player LeBron James wrote on his Twitter account after this punishment. Our league got this wrong, I love this league and deeply respect our leadership, but this isn’t right, he said. Moreover, he said, There is no place for misogyny, sexism, and racism in any workplace.
Team Suns vice chairman Jahm Najafi and sponsor PayPal suggested Sarver should sell the team.
In Wednesday’s statement, Sarver said as a man of faith, I believe in the 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 controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love, Sarver said.
In Wednesday’s statement, Sarver appeared to suggest that he believes he has done enough to atone for any mistakes.
Sarver said, in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible and that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past, and because of these reasons, I am selling my teams.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said The investigation’s conclusion that Sarver did not display racial animus that’s why he is given a lighter punishment than that given to Sterling.
Sarver bought the teams in 2004 for $401m, and now Forbes recently valued the Suns at $1.8bn. Sarver is the primary owner of the teams, and he has a one-third stake.
Under Sarver’s ownership, Mercury has won three WNBA titles and the Suns reached the NBA finals in the 2021-22 season.