Watch: Phoenix Suns fan pop champagne to celebrate Sarver selling team originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
That result had Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver trending on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon -- a few hours removed from Sarver's commitment to make the franchises available to those interested in making bids.
Sarver’s decision to sell has resulted in mostly positive emotions amongst basketball fans online. Phoenix fans are elated – one going as far to drive down to Footprint Center where the teams play to pop champagne and celebrate the news and looming sale.
— Ben Bliklen (@benbliklen) September 21, 2022
And yet, seven days removed from the league’s decision to fine Sarver $10 million and suspend him for the 2022-23 NBA season, many are still frustrated by his words:
Sarver's statement is laughable apology bingo and reeks of arrogance. blaming the "current climate" for you having to accept consequences for 2 decades of harassing employees sounds like a tantrum thrown by someone who does not believe they did anything wrong.
— Mike Golic Jr (@mikegolicjr) September 21, 2022
Timing-wise, with 30 teamsâ media day coming and this investigation on everyoneâs list to ask about, maybe a fresh round of quotes from players made Sarver nervous. Another butt-kicking in the news cycle for a guy who doesnât seemed acoustomed to being checked. https://t.co/j2obGldhe8
— Kerith Burke (@KerithBurke) September 21, 2022
Let's be clear: cancel culture is not the "climate" that is pushing Robert Sarver to sell the Phoenix Suns. It is the economic climate of being an NBA owner in the year 2022 and making $2 billion upon a sale.
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) September 21, 2022
"Cancel culture has punished my mere 18 years of racism and sexism by forcing me to earn a gigantic profit" -Robert Sarver
— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) September 21, 2022
Read through the Sarver stories a few times now. I gotta be honestâ¦Our league definitely got this wrong.Â I donât need to explain why.Â Yâall read the stories and decide for yourself.Â I said it before and Iâm gonna say it again, there is no place in this league for that kind of
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 14, 2022
The POWER of the players. Words from NBA stars @CP3, @KingJames and @Money23Green as well as words from @ttremaglioNBPA in behalf of @TheNBPA certainly had a major impact on Robert Sarver waving the white flag to sell his stake in the Suns and Mercury. Speak out and dribble.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) September 21, 2022
After purchasing both basketball teams in 2004, Sarver was held accountable by the NBA and WNBA when an investigation detected racist and sexist workplace misconduct. As punishment by the leagues, Sarver received a fine of $10 million and was given a one-year suspension.
Sarver explained his hopes for forgiveness and atonement, as a man of faith, on Wednesday when he announced his decision to sell.
“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,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“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 the things I have said in the past,” he added. “For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury.”
Claiming he does not want to be a distraction to the two teams, the people who work for the franchise, as well as the fans around the world, he defines his decision as “the best course of action for everyone.”