Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver has released a statement saying he intends to sell the team as well as the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury in the wake of his recent one-year suspension from the NBA.
“I want what’s best for these two organizations, the players, the employees, the fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone,” Sarver said in a statement.
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The NBA suspended Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million last week after an investigation showed Sarver used racist and sexist language, demeaned female employees and repeatedly engaged in conduct that violates “common workplace standards.” The investigation was prompted by ESPN’s reporting on Sarver.
In his statement, Sarver said he “did not want to be a distraction” to the teams and their employees.
“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,” Sarver’s statement said. “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.”
(This article has been updated.)