Suns leaders ‘shocked’ and ‘disgusted’ by Robert Sarver findings
Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones, head coach Monty Williams and players on Monday expressed their disbelief in the investigation of team owner Robert Sarver that led to him opting to sell the franchise.
“I would say just a state of shock,” Jones said at the Suns’ media day on Monday. “Just personally you just don’t want to see those types of findings. You don’t want that to be the narrative around your organization … you don’t want that to be your issue.
“A flurry of emotions, disappointment, sympathy. Not anger. I understand that for some reason, unfortunately, this is commonplace.”
Sarver was found by a law firm’s independent investigation to have used racist language and demeaned employees on numerous occasions.
Williams said he was in “disbelief” when he read the many bulletpoints of confirmed use by Sarver of the N-word or treating women inequitably in the workplace. He said he, Jones and new assistant general manager Morgan Cato held many discussions about how to move forward.
Suns point guard Chris Paul, who released a statement last week pushing for Sarver to be punished more than a year of suspension, said he was in regular contact with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association president C.J. McCollum after the NBA released the results of its investigation.
“It was unfortunate,” Paul said. “That stuff going on in the workplace is really unfortunate. Just like I’m sure everybody felt, thoughts and prayers to everybody involved. I can’t speak for all the players and everything like that, but it was tough to read and it was disturbing.”
Williams added he kept his door open for players to have discussions with him about the findings of the investigation.
“Quite frankly, (I was) disgusted,” Williams said of Sarver’s use of the N-word. “It’s not a word you repeat — anytime. You read the report, you read the bulletpoints, you see it over and over again that way, it bothers you.
Added Jones: “I just don’t believe that word is acceptable, anywhere.”