“Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organizations that have brought people together – and strengthened the Phoenix area – through the unifying power of men’s and women’s professional basketball,” said Sarver, the managing partner of both teams. A declaration.

Sarver had hoped the suspension would “give me time to focus, make amends and clear up my personal controversy,” the statement continued.

“But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that this is no longer possible – that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by 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.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he fully supports the decision.

“This is the right next step for the organization and the community,” the commissioner said.

A report detailing the investigation, commissioned by the NBA last fall after an ESPN report into Sarver’s alleged behavior, found he had “on at least five occasions during his tenure with the Suns organization / Mercury, repeated the N-word when recounting the statements of others.”

Additionally, according to the report, Sarver “engaged in instances of unfair conduct towards female employees, made numerous gender-related comments in the workplace, made inappropriate comments about female employees’ physical appearance and other women and on several occasions engaged in inappropriate behavior. physical behavior towards male employees.

Sarver apologized after the report was released, although he noted that he disagreed with “some details”.

Suns Legacy Partners, which manages the NBA and WNBA teams, said the decision to sell was best for the organization and the community.

“We also know that today’s news does not change the work that remains ahead of us to create, maintain and protect a top-notch experience for our staff, players, fans, partners and community,” said the group said in a statement. . “While we are proud of our progress and the culture of respect and integrity we are building, we know there is still work to do and relationships to rebuild.”

NBA players like Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, Suns guard Chris Paul and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green had criticized the league, saying they felt the penalties fell far short of what should have been taxed.

Sarver could no longer represent the NBA, Green said Tuesday on his podcast, adding that the behavior described in the report went “against everything the NBA stands for.”

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

Suns vice-president Jahm Najafi had also called on Sarver to step down, and the team’s shirt sponsor PayPal threatened not to renew its deal with the team if Sarver retained ownership.
After Sarver’s announcement was released on Wednesday, James said in a tweet he was “so proud to be part of a league committed to progress!”

National Basketball Players Association President CJ McCollum, who plays for New Orleans, said, “We thank Mr. Sarver for making an early decision that was in the best interest of our sports community.”

CNN’s Jacob Lev contributed to this report.



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