After an ongoing NBA investigation for allegations of racism and misogyny came to a conclusion, Sarver was ultimately suspended for one year and fined $10 million by the league. That came after the league found instances of “racially insensitive language” and “sex-related comments towards women” committed by Sarver.
He has received a ton of backlash from prominent NBA players such as LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Draymond Green for his actions. And key sponsors have threatened to terminate their deals with the Suns if Sarver remained with the franchise.
Many were critical of the NBA’s seemingly lenient punishment for Sarver. But the infamous owner has ultimately decided to begin the process of selling both the Suns and Mercury after all the public backlash.
Suns/Mercury owner Robert Sarver announces he has begun the process of looking for buyers for the team: pic.twitter.com/KKZQM6rYNk
— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) September 21, 2022
Sarver released a statement on the matter, detailing his reasoning for decision while laughably seeming to play the victim card in this situation.
“Words that I deeply regret now overshadowing nearly two decades of building organizations that brought people together – and strengthened the Phoenix area – through the unifying power of professional men’s and women’s basketball. As a man of faith, I believe in atonement and the path to forgiveness. I expected that the commissioner’s one-year suspension would provide the time for me to focus, make amends and remove my personal controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love.”
“But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible – that 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.”
It’s hard to feel bad for Sarver considering the circumstances. And that sentiment is felt by many across the NBA world.
"In our unforgiving climate" is Robert Sarver's hand-wavy way of saying "this actually isn't my fault" when obviously, no, you narcissistic bigot, it's 100% your fault.
But if the pressure got too hot, forced his obstinate hand, and ultimately out of the NBA, then good riddance. https://t.co/W7BoNuZlRR
— Joel Rush (@JoelRushNBA) September 21, 2022
Robert Sarver is playing the victim?!??!??!???
— Tas Melas (@TasMelas) September 21, 2022
— Sarah Kezele (@SarahKezele) September 21, 2022
robert sarver: pic.twitter.com/Impz6O9lzE
— Isaac K. Lee (@IsaacKLee) September 21, 2022
Robert Sarver publicly denied what came out in @Baxter's reporting, reportedly chafed at the idea of the league's punishment once it was confirmed, and is now suggesting that the "unforgiving climate" is preventing him from continuing on as owner despite being a "man of faith".
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) September 21, 2022
The only negative from this situation is that Robert Sarver is going to cash in on his franchises once their sale becomes official despite years of inappropriate conduct as owner.