The NBA suspended Robert Sarver from the owners’ club for a year, but now the embattled businessman apparently wants out.
Sarver, owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and the NBA’s Phoenix Mercury, announced in a statement Wednesday that he is “beginning the process of finding buyers” for both teams.
The NBA announced the one-year suspension and $10 million fine (the maximum allowed by league bylaws) last week following a yearlong investigation into Sarver’s workplace conduct.
A league investigation found that Sarver used The N-word on several occasions and found “instances of unfair behavior towards female employees.” Sarver also made “sex related comments” and other inappropriate comments.
“Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organizations that have brought people together — and strengthened the Phoenix area — through the unifying power of professional men’s and women’s basketball,” Sarver said in a statement.
Sarver, 60, who has faced mounting pressure from both sponsors and players, blamed “our current unforgiving climate” as the reason he wanted to sell the teams.
“It became painfully clear that this was no longer possible — that all the good I had done or could do outweighed what I had said in the past,” he said.
He added that he did not want to “distract” his two franchises and that his move was “the best course of action for everyone.”
A developing story, check back for details.