Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver seeks buyers for NBA and WNBA teams

The NBA last week suspended Sarver for a year and fined him $10 million as a result of the investigation.

“The words I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building institutions that brought people together and strengthened the Phoenix area through the unifying power of men’s and women’s professional basketball,” said Sarver, director of both teams. a statement

Sarver hoped the hiatus would “give me time to concentrate, straighten up and get over the personal controversy,” the statement continued.

“But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that this is not possible — that the good I have done or can do is outweighed by the things I have said in the past,” he said. “For these reasons, I am beginning the process of finding buyers for the Suns and Mercury.”

A report detailing the investigation, following an ESPN report on Sarver’s alleged conduct requested by the NBA last fall, found that “On at least five occasions during his time with the Suns/Mercury organization, he repeated the N-word when recounting statements to others.”

Additionally, according to the report, Sarver “engaged in unfair conduct toward female employees, made numerous sexually suggestive comments in the workplace, made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women, and on several occasions engaged in physical behavior toward male employees.”

Sarver apologized after the report was released, though he said he disagreed with “some of the details.” But NBA players including Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, Suns guard Chris Paul and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green criticized the league, saying the penalties fell far short of what should have been imposed.

Sarver could not represent the NBA, Green said on his podcast Tuesday, adding that the conduct described in the report went “against everything the NBA stands for.”

“The NBA stands for inclusion. The NBA stands for diversity. The NBA certainly stands against bigotry and racism … This report that came out last week is the exact opposite of everything the NBA stands for,” Green said on his podcast, “Draymond Green show”.

Suns vice president Jahm Najafi also called on Sarver to resign, and the team’s jersey sponsor, PayPal, threatened not to renew its deal with the team if Sarver remained as owner.
After Sarver’s announcement was released Wednesday, James said in a tweet “He was so proud to be a part of a league committed to moving forward!”

CNN has reached out to the NBA, the NBPA and the Phoenix Suns and Mercury for comment.