When the NBA announced that it was suspending Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver for one year following an investigation that revealed racist and sexist conduct in the workplace, many across the basketball community believed that the league fell short of doing the right thing.
The situation ended up needing pressure from corporate sponsors and players to actually force a change. And on Wednesday, that pressure was realized. Sarver announced in a statement that he was going to begin the process of selling both the Suns and Mercury.
But in true Sarver fashion, he played himself as the victim in the terribly tone-deaf statement.
Sarver blamed an “unforgiving climate” that left him no choice but to sell the franchise he purchased for $400 and is now valued between $1.5 and $1.8 billion. He also threw in an “as a man of faith” to awaken the ghost of Nick Castellanos.
According to the league’s investigation, Sarver used the N-word at least five times in the workplace. That was in addition to “instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees” and “sex-related comments.”
When ESPN released its full report last year, the Suns tried to preempt the news cycle by having prominent figures in the organization release statements of support for Sarver. Those statements have now been deleted as if the situation couldn’t have gotten any more embarrassing for the Suns.
But mainly, Sarver’s statement showed a complete lack of remorse, blaming others for holding him accountable. And, again, this “punishment” is going to net him a billion dollars! No wonder fans crushed this awful response from the soon-to-be-former Suns owner.