Fans, media, players react to Robert Sarver looking to sell Suns, Mercury
Sep 21, 2022, 10:55 AM | Updated: 3:05 pm
Robert Sarver, the suspended owner of the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, announced Wednesday his intentions to seek buyers for his teams.
The statement came after the NBA suspended him one year and fined him $10 million for the use of racist language, misogyny and bullying throughout his tenure.
NBA stars like the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and Suns point guard Chris Paul, fans and media personalities alike were calling for his removal as owner, so social media didn’t react quietly to Wednesday’s development.
It didn’t take long for former Suns players to voice their feelings:
— Marcin Gortat🇵🇱 (@MGortat) September 21, 2022
Had to happen! https://t.co/nzaQRUIq8Q
— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) September 21, 2022
ESPN senior writer Marc Spears credited the players’ voices for applying pressure and creating change:
The POWER of the players. Words from NBA stars @CP3, @KingJames and @Money23Green as well as words from @ttremaglioNBPA in behalf of @TheNBPA certainly had a major impact on Robert Sarver waving the white flag to sell his stake in the Suns and Mercury. Speak out and dribble.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) September 21, 2022
I’m so proud to be a part of a league committed to progress! https://t.co/c89Ad7AKZO
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 21, 2022
Other media members gave differing perspectives, from a simple good-riddance message to a warning that while Sarver is going to sell, he will get a lump sum out of this situation.
Robert Sarver… good news, good riddance.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) September 21, 2022
There were always concerns that Sarver’s stubbornness and desire to paint himself as the victim would make him willing to continue as a pariah in the NBA community, but his decision to sell the Suns and Mercury bails out the league and his ownership peers. https://t.co/LD7o1OYhQ0
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 21, 2022
Suns owner Robert Sarver will sell his team but that isn’t punishment. He will make a ton of money and carry on.
— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) September 21, 2022
There were also those who criticized and poked fun of Sarver’s released statement, which included language such as, “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.”
“Cancel culture has punished my mere 18 years of racism and sexism by forcing me to earn a gigantic profit” -Robert Sarver
— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) 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
“In our current unforgiving climate” Robert Sarver said in his statement, because, sure, after being exposed for misogynistic behavior, use of racist language and creating a hostile work environment, he’s the victim.
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) September 21, 2022
And now, Twitter is trying to find out what comes next. Of course, many are throwing their hat in the ring to buy the team, although some are looking for a discount.
Me putting in my bid to buy the Suns pic.twitter.com/yxeoS44GKl
— 6 Seasons and a Moving Screen (@NBAGreendale) September 21, 2022
If anyone has $1,999,999,965, I’d love to buy the Suns together https://t.co/T3fh4LprW2
— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) September 21, 2022
Bob Iger, the former Disney CEO and reported pal of Adam Silver, could be next in line to own Suns. Iger had an interest before, but was shot down. In an interesting twist, Disney owns ESPN, which uncovered the Sarver story. https://t.co/YqpiSrCCIO
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) September 21, 2022