Photo Credit: Mark Winograd

A report was released on Thursday detailing a history of racist and misogynistic remarks from the Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver who’s owned the team since 2004 as well as a number of hostile incidents. The team denied the accusations in a lengthy statement saying they’ve been put into a position to disprove things that didn’t happen.

Regarding claims of racist words used, Sarver said “I’ve never called anyone or any group of people the N-word, or referred to anyone or any group of people by the N-word, either verbally or in writing. I don’t use that word. It is abhorrent and ugly and denigrating and against everything I believe in.” He added, “At this point, I would entirely welcome an impartial NBA investigation which may prove our only outlet for clearing my name and the reputation of an organization of which I’m so very proud.”

The NBA released a statement Friday, November 5th saying, “The allegations contained in today’s ESPN article are extremely serious, and we have directed the Wachtell Lipton law firm to commence a comprehensive investigation.The NBA and WNBA remain committed to providing a respectful and inclusive workplace for all employees. Once the investigation is completed, its findings will provide the basis for any league action.”

Suns Vice Chairman Jahm Najafi who is working with Colin Kaepernick on diversity and equity said, “The conduct he is alleged to have committed has stunned and saddened me and is unacceptable. The well-being and safety of every Suns employee, player, coach and stakeholder is first and foremost our priority. My sincerest sympathy goes out to all whose lives and professions have been impacted.” He added, “The Phoenix Suns is a national treasure that belongs to all of us as fans and residents of our community. Team investors are simply temporary stewards of this treasure.”

We have a lot of people these days who think that all of this discussion about racism is just silly with people calling people snowflakes but we all know that in any normal work environment, if people were called the N word, all hell would break loose. For some reason there is a belief that if people make a certain amount of money, how they’re treated doesn’t matter. Well that’s not so and in the era of new media and social media, people are being held accountable, such as the Phoenix Suns owner now.