Robert Sarver has announced that he is now starting the process of selling both the Phoenix Suns and Mercury.
In the statement he released, Sarver cites the “current unforgiving climate” as the reason why he has decided to place both franchises in the market.
“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.”
This decision came a week after the NBA slapped him a one-year ownership suspension, a $10MM fine and mandatory compliance in training programs about respect and proper workplace conduct upon almost a year of investigation on the alleged misogyny, sexism and racism thrown against him.
Many fans and several league faces including LeBron James, Chris Paul and Draymond Green have expressed their concerns on the sanctions applied by the league, criticizing it for not meeting the justifiable standard.
Other than them, franchise minority owner Jahm Najafi calls for the resignation of Sarver. On the business side, PayPal declared that it won’t renew their jersey patch collaboration after the 2022-2023 season if he remains in his position after serving the suspension.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed his support for the decision of Sarver, as well as NBPA President and New Orleans Pelicans guard C.J. McCollum.
As detailed by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Suns hold high value in the market, wherein league circles believe that it can net big time free-agents “with right ownership.”