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Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver Suspended One Year Following Allegations of Racism and Misogyny

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

As it has progressed tremendously over the past several decades, the world of sports has become an incredibly diverse entity. Professional athletes come in virtually every shape and size while both genders are equally well represented in both men’s and women’s league, serving as the greatest markers of the type of inclusion and acceptance promoted in professional sports for decades now. This trend also only continues to grow as we move further and further into the 21st century and this type of diversity becomes increasingly more common in all industries and not just that of professional sports. One high profile sports executive has found himself in hot water this week after certain comments and actions of his denouncing this diversity in the most disgusting of ways came to light following an investigation by the NBA, and Phoenix Suns majority owner Dennis Sarver has been suspended from team and league activities for the forthcoming year as a result.

Sarver has been an owner of the Phoenix Suns for the better part of two decades now and has become a prominent figure in the process, especially in light of the Suns’ recent success. It appears that throughout this time the NBA executive has made some enemies for a litany of racist and misogynistic behaviors he has displayed in a variety of ways. The list includes public use of the n-word on several occasions, making sexually-charged comments toward female employees and engaging in “inappropriate physical conduct with male employees,” amongst many other things. It was this week following an investigation into these egregious actions that NBA commissioner Adam Silver elected to suspend Sarver from league activities for the entirety of the next year, however some don’t feel that's enough. Suns’ vice chairman and minority owner Jahm Najafi is going as far as calling for Sarver’s resignation from the Suns altogether and, presumably, the sale of his stake in the team as well, however many have cited the legal and technical hurdles in removing a team owner as the only reason why Sarver hasn’t already received a more severe punishment for his actions. Najafi and his supporters will just have to await and see what else may be in store for Sarver, if anything.

The NBA may be the most diverse professional sports league of all, with a myriad of nations represented by its athletes and the inclusion of female referees. This subsequently makes it especially surprising that a team owner like Sarver would find himself in a position like this, but it appears his occupation has no bearing on the hate in his heart. Adam Silver seemingly made it abundantly clear where the NBA stands on this behavior however, and Sarver will have to keep his distance from the league altogether for the next year.


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