11:08 AM PT — LeBron James is clearly a fan of Sarver’s decision … tweeting minutes ago, “I’m so proud to be a part of a league committed to progress!”
Robert Sarver will give up both the Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury after the NBA found he did use the n-word multiple times during his tenure as an owner in the leagues.
The 60-year-old announced in a lengthy statement on Wednesday morning that he is “beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and the Mercury” following the NBA’s findings.
“Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organizations that brought people together — and strengthened the Phoenix area — through the unifying power of professional men’s and women’s basketball,” Sarver said, before adding, “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.”
In addition to using the racial epithet on at least five different occasions, the NBA also said Sarver made inappropriate comments towards women, and didn’t treat his employees fairly or equally.
Commissioner Adam Silver fined Sarver $10 million and suspended him one year over it all … and insisted the punishment was strong enough.
But, after fans and multiple star players — including LeBron James, Chris Paul and Draymond Green — called for more severe sanctions … Sarver decided it was best to move on from his roles with the NBA and WNBA teams.
“I do not want to be a distraction to these two teams and the fine people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of basketball to fans around the world,” Sarver said. “I want what’s best for these two organizations, the players, the employees, then fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone.”
“In the meantime, I will continue to work on becoming a better person, and continuing to support the community in meaningful ways. Thank you for continuing to root for the Suns and the Mercury, embracing the power that sports has to bring us together.”
Originally Published — 9:50 AM PT