PHOENIX SUNS

Suns minority owner Jahm Najafi calls for Robert Sarver’s resignation

Sep 15, 2022, 6:24 PM
Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver attends the NBA game against the Charlotte Hornets at Footprint Ce...
Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver attends the NBA game against the Charlotte Hornets at Footprint Center on December 19, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns vice chairman and minority owner Jahm Najafi called for the resignation of majority owner Robert Sarver in an open letter to employees and players on Thursday.

The letter is in response to the report from an investigation done independently of the NBA that resulted in a one-year suspension and $10 million fine for Sarver including that he “clearly violated common workplace standards” via “use of racially insensitive language; unequal treatment of female employees, sex-related statements and conduct; and harsh treatment of employees that on occasion constituted bullying.”

Najafi, who owns the second-largest stake of the franchise behind Sarver, starts his letter by thanking the employees who shared their experiences in the investigation before stating there is “zero tolerance for discriminatory actions of any level, in any setting, let alone a professional one.” He describes Sarver’s conduct as “lewd, misogynistic and racist” and says it would “warrant immediate termination” in any leadership position.

Najafi calls for the resignation of Sarver and notes that he has no interest in becoming the managing partner but would help ensure the next person to hold the position “treats all stakeholders with dignity, professionalism and respect.”

Najafi is the CEO of Phoenix-based Najafi Companies, a private investment firm. He’s held that position since 2002.

He has been an alternate governor representing the Suns with the National Basketball Association, according to his biography on the Suns’ website, and has served on the boards for the Phoenix Country Day School, Arizona State and the Phoenix Symphony, among others.

Najafi’s letter follows a statement from Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego on Thursday stating she has city staff investigating potential action against Sarver, while Suns point guard Chris Paul and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James tweeted on Wednesday they did not feel the league’s punishment for Sarver was enough.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Follow @KellanOlson...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns moving forward from Robert Sarver report, mindful of victims

The Phoenix Suns will be sympathetic toward those affected by Robert Sarver's actions and words while moving forward and improving.
1 day ago
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton speaks with the media at the team's media day (Photo by Jeremy Sc...
Kellan Olson

Subdued Deandre Ayton is ‘happy’ offseason got done, Suns matched

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton did not exude much energy at his media day press conference on Monday after an eventful offseason.
1 day ago
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley (22) plays in the first half during Game 5 of a first...
Jordan Leandre

Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley had a media day highlight reel

It didn't take long for Patrick Beverley to start making highlights in his Lakers career. His media day was full of them.
1 day ago
Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to fans after defeating the Golden State Warriors in the...
Alex Weiner

Phoenix Suns address Jae Crowder’s uncertain future at media day

Suns general manager James Jones, head coach Monty Williams and several players at media day Monday addressed Jae Crowder not being at camp.
1 day ago
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams hands off the ball during a break in the action during the f...
Arizona Sports

Suns leaders ‘shocked’ and ‘disgusted’ by Robert Sarver findings

Suns GM James Jones, head coach Monty Williams and players expressed their disbelief in the investigation of team owner Robert Sarver.
1 day ago
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets claps during the first quarter of Round 1 Game 1 of the 2022 N...
Kevin Zimmerman

Kevin Durant reaffirms commitment to Nets after offseason trade request

Kevin Durant said he's moved past an offseason trade request and is ready to get back to work with the Brooklyn Nets.
1 day ago
Suns minority owner Jahm Najafi calls for Robert Sarver’s resignation