Robert Sarver is not the victim as he will profit from the sale of Suns, Mercury and the people he has hurt will get nothing


A 7,200-word news story, deeply reported by ESPN’s Baxter Holmes.

A 10-month investigation by a law firm that yielded 42 pages of findings.

More than 100 people who heard or saw behavior that clearly violated workplace standards, often causing actual mental, emotional or physical harm to employees.

He will likely be pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming months.

And yet Robert Sarver wants you to believe he is the victim.

Yes, it is only Robert Sarver and Robert Sarver who is wronged in all this, this poor, poor man who bears the consequences of his own misdeeds.

How dare we hold this man responsible.

How dare we expect the rich man who’s been around for nearly two decades as a sexist bully with a penchant for “repeating” (use your sarcastic quote fingers, it’s much more effective) to be exposed the N-word by a damn good reporter and a highly compensated law firm that conducted hundreds of interviews with people who worked in the offices he terrorized.

The horror.

Robert Sarver, who announced he will sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, is not the victim, as his statement would have you believe. (TSWT Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

In a statement Wednesday announcing that he is “beginning the search for buyers for the Suns and Mercury,” the NBA and WNBA teams he owns, Sarver made sure to include this:

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“I expected that the Commissioner’s one-year suspension would give me time to focus, make amends and remove my personal controversy from the teams I and so many fans love.

“But in our current ruthless climate, it’s become painfully clear that that’s no longer possible — that all the good I’ve done or could possibly do still outweighs things I’ve said in the past.”

The current unforgiving climate, he says.

It’s you who should be asking for forgiveness, Robert.

The subordinates revealed that you had yelled and cursed; of those who had to sit in business meetings and heard you talk about your wife having oral sex with you; from the team physician who, while performing a routine fitness check, had you undergoing full, unnecessarily dropping your underwear and dangling your penis into his face; of the then pregnant employee who threatened to deprive you of her work assignment because of that pregnancy; of the employees whose sexuality you questioned.

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You should be forgiven for wondering out loud about players’ genitals, and for repeatedly using the N-word, the most despicable, degrading word in American English, even over protests by white and black observers who told you it was wasn’t like that. a word you can use whether you were allegedly just repeating something you had heard or not.

(In another column, we may try to figure out why Sarver apparently had such a burning desire to say that particular word and wouldn’t accept that it’s off limits, but for today we’ll stay focused on the statement at hand. )

It is not the “current climate” that has led you to be able to sell these teams. It’s your lack of basic human decency.

You are in this position because we found out about the aforementioned foul deeds and more and were rightly appalled, both at Sarver’s behavior and the mediocre punishment he received from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who previously found that team owners were their team to act in a similar manner.

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To be clear, it is not the public outcry that has led to this. It was at least one team sponsor who publicly withdrew his money and several players talked about the slap on the wrist Silver Sarver gave.

And let’s not gloss over the fact that Sarver’s statement also focuses only on his choice of words, which is a misconception on two levels: First, words are important, and he has a penchant for weaponizing them; and second, the NBA-initiated investigation into Sarver includes not only verbal abuse, but also unwanted physical contact.

We’ve seen this over and over in recent years of people, mostly men, who turn out to be tyrants, abusers, or sexual harassment, or a combination of the three, and their response is to portray themselves as the victim, not who they are. influenced.

The real shame in all of this isn’t Robert Sarver’s lack of shame, it’s that he will walk away from this with a tidy profit to further enrich his already bloated bank account, and the men and women he victimized for years get nothing. .

Nothing but a statement in which their former boss had the audacity to portray himself as the aggrieved party.


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