THE Phoenix Suns released a statement regarding a potential media investigation into the workplace culture of the franchise, denying that the organization or owner Robert Sarver have a history of racism or sexism.
The statement sent Friday said the organization is aware that ESPN is working on a story accusing the organization of misconduct on a “variety of topics.” The Suns responded by saying they were “completely baseless claims” and “documentary evidence in our possession and eyewitness accounts directly contradict the reporter’s accusations, and we are preparing our response to his questions.”
Sarver—a Phoenix businessman—has owned the Suns since 2004.
Suns general manager James Jones, who is Black, said in the team’s response: “None of what’s been said describes the Robert Sarver I know, respect and like—it just doesn’t.”
The franchise is coming off one of the most successful seasons in its history, making the NBA Finals with stars Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton before losing in six games to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Suns have made the Finals three times, in 1976, 1993 and 2021, but have never won a championship.
Suns coach Monty Williams addressed the media Friday before the team’s game against the Lakers in Los Angeles, saying he was aware of the potential report but said he didn’t want to “comment about it until I have time to process a lot of information and get everything I need to know about the situation.”
He added that he didn’t expect the situation would be a distraction for the team.
“Nothing will invade or erode our culture,” Williams said. “That’s something we’ve said from Day 1. Wins, losses, we get to play basketball, we get to hoop and that’s not going to change.”
The potential investigation came to light Friday when league analyst Jordan Schultz posted a message on social media that said the league was preparing for a “massive” story and that if there is “enough evidence to support such claims, there’s a real chance the league would forcibly remove Sarver.” (AP)