Phoenix Suns/Mercury owner Robert Sarver will sell the teams, he announced in a statement on Wednesday.
The 60-year-old has decided it’s in the best interest to sell the Suns and Mercury(WNBA) after the league suspended him for one year and fined him $10 million following the findings of an independent investigation of Sarver, which concluded he used the N-word on five occasions during his tenure with the Suns/Mercury organization, 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.
In addition, the report stated that Sarver engaged in demeaning and harsh treatment of employees, including yelling and cursing at them.
In his statement, Sarver felt today’s society would not allow him to make amends for his past actions.
“As a man of faith, I believe in atonement and the path to forgiveness,” Sarver said in his statement. “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.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver believes it is best for Sarver to sell the team and said the following in a statement discussing Sarver’s decision.
“I fully support the decision by Robert Sarver to sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury,” Silver said. “This is the right next step for the organization and community.”
The entity that owns the Suns, Suns Legacy Partners, LLC, also agrees with Sarver’s choice to sell the team.
“We agree that Robert Sarver’s decision to sell the Suns and Mercury is in the best interest of the organization and community,” the statement read.
“We also know that today’s news does not change the work that remains in front of us to create, maintain and protect a best-in-class experience for our staff, players, fans, partners, and community.
“As we’ve shared with our employees, we acknowledge the courage of the people who came forward in this process to tell their stories and apologize to those hurt.
“We are on a journey that began before last November, one that has included changes to leadership, staff, and accountability measures. While we are proud of our progress and the culture of respect and integrity we are building, we know there remains work to do and relationships to rebuild. We are committed to doing so for our staff, players, fans, partners, and this community.”