Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver Hit With Allegations Of Racism, Sexism


Robert Sarver

Photo: Getty Images

Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver is in hot water yet again after ESPN's Baxter Holmes published a story alleging that he created a hostile and toxic work environment.

In one instance, a former Suns employees recalled a time in which Lindsey Hunter, who is Black, and Dan Majerle, who is white, were being considered a the team's next head coach. Sarver told those around him that he preferred Hunter and he allegedly used a racial slur to describe him.

"These [N-words] need a [N-word]," Sarver reportedly told a staffer.

In another instance, former Phoenix Suns Head Coach Earl Watson was asked if he felt the Suns could improve in any area. Watson responded by saying the Suns could have a more diverse workforce, but Sarver wasn't on board.

"I don't like diversity," Sarver replied, according to Watson.

Later on in the story, a source told Holmes that the Suns were once interested in signing soon-to-be NBA Hall Of Fame Center LaMarcus Aldridge. During the recruitment process, the Suns reportedly learned that Aldridge had kids in Texas and was interested in playing in a city near them. According to the report, Sarver told team staffers "that the Suns needed to have local strippers impregnated by NBA players so those players would have children in the Phoenix area and feel obliged to be closer to them."

Diving deeper in to the story, former Suns account executive David Bodzin told ESPN that Sarver pulled his pants down during a company-wide activity. In the immediate aftermath, the Suns staffer looked at an HR representative and the HR representative allegedly said, "Please don't sue us for sexual harassment."

Sarver's alleged actions empowered others to act in a similar manner. In one instance, a white executive reportedly asked a Black coworker to dance for him. The explosive story also recounts an instance in which a former Suns executive asked a female staffer "how many members of her department she had slept with and about a specific coworker's penis."

"It was terrible because I had not had sexual interactions with anybody on [the staff], so that was very weird," the former employee told ESPN.

"And [it] also made me uncomfortable because my VP is asking me about my sexual history with other co-workers? That kind of thing was almost normal."

Constant accounts of racism, sexism and sexual harassment led several Suns staffers to leave the organization. One person said that the workplace environment led her to contemplate suicide.

"It wrecked my life," one former Suns employee told ESPN.

"I was contemplating suicide."

Sarver has denied many of the allegations, but did apologize to Bodzin for pulling down his pants. He also admitted to saying the word, n-----, once "many years ago." At this time, minority Suns owners nor NBA have not publicly addressed the accusations made in the story. As this unfolds, the Suns will play the Rockets tonight at 9 p.m.

Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available: 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264

The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001

For more mental health resources, click HERE

Get the latest news 24/7 on The Black Information Network. Listen now on the iHeartRadio app or click HERE to tune in live.


Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content