UPDATED 10/22, 7 p.m. ET: The Phoenix Suns released a statement Friday denying claims of racism, sexism and sexual harassment against owner Robert Sarver.
“This story is completely outrageous and false,” Suns CEO and President Jason Rowley said in a statement released by the team. “It doesn’t represent – at all – the Robert Sarver I’ve worked alongside of for 15 years. He’s not a racist and he’s not a sexist.”
The statement arrives hours after NBA podcast host Jordan Schultz took to Twitter to reveal that the league was prepparing for a story accusing Sarver of “racism, sexism and sexual harassment in a series of incidents.”
Sarver strongly denied the report in his own statement Friday, saying that he was “wholly shocked” by the alleged accusations.
“I am wholly shocked by some of the allegations purported by ESPN about me, personally, or about the Phoenix Suns and Mercury organizations,” he said. “While I can’t begin to know how to respond to some of the vague suggestions made by mostly anonymous voices, I can certainly tell you that some of the claims I find completely repugnant to my nature and to the character of the Suns/Mercury workplace and I can tell you they never, ever happened.”
Read the full statement from Sarver and the Phoenix Suns below.
See original story below.
Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver is reportedly facing accusations of racism, sexism, and sexual harassment, according to an upcoming report prepared by ESPN.
NBA insider Jordan Schultz, who hosts the Pull Up podcast with C.J. McCollum, announced on Friday that the league is preparing for a report that would uncover serious allegations towards Sarver.
“Breaking: The NBA is preparing for a massive story accusing #Suns owner Robert Sarver of racism, sexism and sexual harassment in a series of incidents, sources say,” he wrote. With enough evidence to support such claims, there’s a real chance the league would forcibly remove Sarver.”
As stated by Shultz, such claims could lead to the NBA removing Sarver from his position as Suns owner. The league hasn’t ousted an owner since 2014, when commissioner Adam Silver issued a life-time ban of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling following an investigation into racist comments.
Since Sarver purchased the team in 2004, Phoenix has made four trips to the Western Conference finals, highlighted by last year’s appearance in the NBA Finals.