Denver7 | Sports

Actions

Embattled owner Robert Sarver has started process to sell Phoenix Suns, Mercury

Comes after yearlong suspension from NBA
Robert Sarver Suns AP
Posted at 11:22 AM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 13:22:18-04

PHOENIX — Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver says he is starting the process of trying to sell both the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury.

The move comes about two weeks after the NBA announced a one-year suspension for Sarver after a lengthy investigation into alleged misconduct.

Sarver is accused of using racial slurs on at least five occasions, treating female employees unequally, and bullying employees on several occasions.

Sarver released the following statement Wednesday:

"Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organizations that brought people together – and strengthened the Phoenix area – through the unifying power of professional men's and women's basketball.

As a man of faith, I believe in 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 personal controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love.

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

I do not want to be a distraction to these two teams and the fine people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of basketball to fans around the world. I want what's best for these two organizations, the players, the employees, the fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone.

In the meantime, I will continue to work on becoming a better person, and continuing to support the community in meaningful ways. Thank you for continuing to root for the Suns and the Mercury, embracing the power that sports has to bring us together."

It's unclear if any potential buyers have come forward.

According to a 2021 report from Forbes, the Suns were valued at $1.8 billion at the time.

Among the key findings of the NBA's report into Sarver:

"Mr. Sarver on at least five occasions during his tenure with the Suns/Mercury organization repeated the N-word when recounting the statements of others. Mr. Sarver engaged in instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees, made many sex-related comments in the workplace, made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women, and on several occasions engaged in inappropriate physical conduct toward male employees. Mr. Sarver engaged in demeaning and harsh treatment of employees including by yelling and cursing at them."

This article was written by Clayton Klapper for KNXV.