Robert Sarver is starting to feel the heat.
The Phoenix Suns Owner was banned from the NBA for one year and fined $10 million after the NBA released its findings from a 10-month independent investigation into allegations of workplace abuse. Phoenix Suns vice chairman and minority owner Jahm Najafi called for majority owner Robert Sarver’s resignation in an open letter to team employees released last night, saying there should be “zero tolerance” for Saver’s type of behavior.
“Similar conduct by any CEO, executive director, president, teacher, coach, or any other position of leadership would warrant immediate termination,” Najafi wrote in the letter. “The fact that Robert Sarver ‘owns’ the team does not give him a license to treat others differently than any other leader. The fact that anyone would find him fit to lead because of this ‘ownership’ position is forgetting that NBA teams belong to the communities they serve.
“Team investors are merely temporary stewards. If we, as sports leaders, are not held to the same standards then how can we expect a functional society with integrity and respect on any level? We owe it to you: employees, players, partners, and your families to provide the same positive workplace environment we would require of any other business.
“I cannot in good judgment sit back and allow our children and future generations of fans to think that this behavior is tolerated because of wealth and privilege. Therefore, in accordance with my commitment to helping eradicate any form of racism, sexism and bias, as Vice Chairman of the Phoenix Suns, I am calling for the resignation of Robert Sarver.”
Jahm Najafi, the second largest Suns stakeholder, has publicly called for the resignation of Robert Sarver in an open letter to Suns fans. pic.twitter.com/z7dMzUyHSP
— Mike Vigil (@protectedpick) September 16, 2022
Najafi went on to write that while he has no interest in becoming the managing partner of the Suns, “I will work tirelessly to ensure the next team steward treats all stakeholders with dignity, professionalism and respect.”
LeBron James and Chris Paul also called out the NBA’s punishment of Sarver, with Paul writing in a tweet, “I am of the view that the sanctions fell short in truly addressing what we can all agree was atrocious behavior.”
We’ll see how much heat Sarver is going to be able to take before he’s forced to resign.
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