Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver found himself embroiled in controversy this week amid reports of a bombshell scandal.
Early Friday afternoon, NBA insider Jordan Schultz revealed that “the NBA is preparing for a massive story” that accuses Sarver of “racism, sexism and sexual harassment in a series of incidents.”
The potential ramifications of this are obvious.
“With enough evidence to support such claims, there’s a real chance the league would forcibly remove Sarver,” Schultz noted.
Shortly thereafter, the Suns rushed to put out a statement of their own.
“We understand that ESPN is considering publishing a proposed story that makes completely baseless claims against the Suns Legacy Partners, LLC organization concerning a variety of topics,” the Suns statement read.
“Documentary evidence in our possession and eyewitness accounts directly contradict the reporter’s accusations, and we are preparing our response to his questions. We urge everyone not to rush to judgment here. Especially based on lies, innuendo, and a false narrative to attack our organization and its leadership.”
Phoenix Suns have released a statement on the story in the process of being reported on Robert Sarver. They are calling these “baseless claims.”
“Especially based on lies, innuendo, and a false narrative to attack our organization and its leadership.” pic.twitter.com/7AmewuQ7xN
— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) October 22, 2021
Suns general manager James Jones also seemed to come to Sarver’s defense, noting that the claims made against him don’t “describe the Robert Sarver I know, respect, and like.”
If this story is truly as bad as alleged, it would mark the second time NBA commissioner Adam Silver was forced to deal with a situation of this nature. The first, obviously, occurred with Donald Sterling and the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014.
Sarver, who purchased the Suns back in 2004, is one of the NBA’s least popular owners. His recent row with his own No. 1 draft pick, Deandre Ayton, is just the latest example of why his tenure has been so frowned upon. Attempts by the front office to leak the real reason they didn’t re-sign Ayton to a max extension largely fell on deaf ears.
Beyond that, Sarver’s rationale for not drafting Luka Doncic did not endear him to the fan base either.
This breaking news story clearly won’t help matters any.
Obviously Sarver’s newfound mess is reminding everyone of what happened just a couple of weeks ago with Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.
That’s one way to dress to a baseball game. https://t.co/oeBgEan8bD
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 22, 2021
Gruden’s old controversial emails leaked out following a league investigation into the Washington Football Team. Their racist, homophobic and misogynistic contents resulted in his ouster. The fallout was so bad that even his son, Deuce, was touched by it.
Will a similar fate ultimately befall Sarver? Time will tell.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.