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Sarver announces plans to sell Phoenix Suns and Mercury

Owner of the Phoenix Suns and Mercury Robert Sarver said that he will start the process of selling both of his basketball teams after a damning study exposed the executive’s almost two-decade long pattern of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour.

Sarver stated in a statement on Wednesday that he is unable to distinguish between his “personal” controversy and the NBA and WNBA teams due to the “unforgiving climate.”

“Whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past. For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury,” he wrote.


The Suns, wholost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 NBA Finals, are worth $1.8

billion according to Forbes. The Mercury have four WNBA championships.

Following the independent inquiry that supported details of an ESPN report from November that claimed the owner used racial language, made sexual remarks to and about women, and mistreated employees, the NBA last week suspended Sarver for a year.

A $10 million fine was also imposed by the league.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated last week that “the remarks and conduct reflected in the conclusions of the independent investigation are concerning and disappointing.”

“We feel the result is correct, taking into account all the facts, circumstances, and context revealed by the thorough inquiry of this 18-year period,” the statement reads.


On Wednesday, Silver affirmed that he agreed with Sarver’s choice to sell the franchises. According to a statement released by the NBA, the commissioner remarked, “This is the correct next step for the organization and community.”


The Donald Sterling incident brings to mind the time when the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers was punished with a $2.5 million fine and a lifetime NBA ban after being caught on tape making racial remarks. After 33 years of ownership, he was compelled to sell the franchise to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Sterling filed a lawsuit against the NBA, but it was settled in 2016.


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