Inside Suns owner Robert Sarver’s alleged ‘toxic’ culture: Using N-word, ‘owning’ women

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Over 70 existent and erstwhile Suns staffers made claims that team proprietor Robert Sarver was astatine the halfway of a “toxic” civilization successful Phoenix, often utilizing the N-word and belittling staffers, according to an explosive study from ESPN.

The communicative featured galore anecdotes that included Sarver utilizing the N-word and different racist language, including an accusation by erstwhile Suns manager Earl Watson. After a Phoenix nonaccomplishment to the Warriors, Sarver allegedly entered the coaches locker country and asked, “You know, wherefore does Draymond Green get to tally up the tribunal and accidental [N-word]?”

Upon being told helium couldn’t accidental that by Watson, Sarver reportedly responded: “Why? Draymond Green says [N-word.]”

Sarver denied Watson’s mentation of the incidental and said successful a connection that helium didn’t usage the N-word but for 1 clip galore twelvemonth ago, aft which helium instantly apologized.

“I’ve ne'er called anyone oregon immoderate radical of radical the N-word, oregon referred to anyone oregon immoderate radical of radical by the N-word, either verbally oregon successful writing,” Sarver told ESPN successful a connection done his ineligible team. “I don’t usage that word. It is abhorrent and disfigured and denigrating and against everything I judge in.”

Suns proprietor  Robert SarverSuns proprietor Robert SarverGetty Images

After ESPN’s study was released, Green appeared to code the accusations against Sarver connected Twitter.

“But I was fined?? Lol smh,” the Warriors prima wrote.

According to ESPN, astatine slightest a half-dozen erstwhile staffers recalled instances successful which Sarver re-told stories from Black players and utilized the N-word. He besides utilized the epithet erstwhile explaining wherefore helium preferred hiring Lindsey Hunter implicit Dan Majerle arsenic caput manager successful 2013.

“Theses [N-words] request a [N-word],” Sarver said, according to the report.

Sarver’s radical insensitivity extended past the usage of slurs. Watson and an anonymous staffer told ESPN that the proprietor erstwhile said, “I don’t similar diversity,” due to the fact that it made it hard for radical to agree. The Suns reportedly person a large diverseness contented wrong their organization, which a fig of employees person brought up to their managers, including to Sarver.

One pistillate worker besides told ESPN that Sarver would accidental things like, “Do I ain you? Are you 1 of mine?” A fig of employees said helium would notation to unit and players arsenic “inventory.”

Robert Sarver aft  Game 6 of the Western Conference FinalsRobert Sarver aft Game 6 of the Western Conference FinalsGetty Images

“Women person precise small value,” a erstwhile pistillate staffer told ESPN of the workplace culture. “Women are possessions. And I deliberation we’re obscurity adjacent to wherever helium thinks men are.”

At 1 point, erstwhile a pistillate worker broke down successful tears aft being berated by Sarver implicit a tribute video to grant erstwhile Suns enforcement Rick Welts, Sarver reportedly said, “Why bash each you women astir present outcry truthful much?”

He besides reportedly made demeaning intersexual comments. During the 2012-13 season, helium allegedly offered to alert women to Los Angeles, the accusation being for sex, truthful that players wouldn’t spell retired successful the metropolis the nighttime earlier a game. Though the remark was taken arsenic a joke, a pistillate staffer successful the country was humiliated.

When the Suns were recruiting LaMarcus Aldridge successful 2015, Sarver besides reportedly joked that the Suns needed to person section strippers impregnated by players truthful they would person children successful the area, giving Phoenix a limb up successful escaped agency.

Sarver denied making some comments to ESPN.

Sarver besides reportedly interfered with the coaching unit contempt a deficiency of hoops knowledge. That included; demanding that Watson occurrence Klutch Sports arsenic his bureau due to the fact that Rich Paul made a excavation astatine him portion negotiating a contract; trying to gully up plays contempt not knowing the athletics good capable to bash so; and berating the staff, with what erstwhile adjunct Corliss Williamson called radical connotations.

A fig of Suns staffers, including GM James Jones, publically denied allegations that Sarver made racist oregon misogynistic comments erstwhile quality leaked a mates weeks agone that a communicative was coming out. Suns vice president Jahm Najafi released a connection Thursday successful effect to the story, pledging afloat accountability.

“I person been made alert of the allegations against Robert Sarver, the managing spouse of the Phoenix Suns,” Najafi said. “The behaviour helium is alleged to person committed has stunned and saddened maine and is unacceptable. The well-being and information of each Suns employee, player, manager and stakeholder is archetypal and foremost our priority. My sincerest sympathy goes retired to each whose lives and professions person been impacted. I americium personally committed to helping eradicate immoderate signifier of racism, sexism and bias, which is unacceptable anyplace successful our society.”