PHOENIX, -- The Phoenix Suns issued a statement about a possible media investigation into the workplace culture at the franchise. It denied that Robert Sarver, the owner of the company, has a history of racism and sexism.
Friday's statement stated that ESPN was aware of the story and said they are aware of it. The Suns countered by saying that the Suns had "completely unfounded claims" and that there is "documentary evidence in our possession." Eyewitness accounts and documentation directly contradict the allegations of the reporter. We are currently preparing our responses to his questions.
Since 2004, the Suns are owned by Sarver, a Phoenix businessman.
James Jones, the Suns' general manager, is Black. He stated in the team's response that "none of what has been said describes Robert Sarver, the Robert Sarver, I know, respect, and like - it just doesn’t."
This franchise just finished one of its most successful seasons, reaching the NBA Finals with Deandre Ayton, Chris Paul, and Devin Booker. The team then lost in six to the Milwaukee Bucks. Although the Suns have been to the Finals three times in 1976, 1993, and 2021, they have never won a championship.
Monty Williams, Suns coach, addressed the media on Friday prior to the team's match against the Lakers. He said that he was aware about the possibility of a report but didn't want "to comment about it until I have had time to process a lot information and get all the details I need."
Williams stated that "Nothing will infiltrate or erode our culture." "That's something that we have said since Day 1. We get to play basketball and we win or lose, that's what we have been saying since Day 1.
The possibility of an investigation was brought to our attention Friday by Jordan Schultz , a league analyst. He posted a message to social media stating that the league was planning for a "massive story" and that there could be a chance that the league would remove Sarver if they have enough evidence.
Sarver and Suns responded to the lengthy statement with a long statement. Sarver, 59, also owns the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.
Sarver stated, "While I don't know how I will respond to some of these vague suggestions made mostly by anonymous voices, I can assure you that some claims I find totally repugnant both to my nature as well as to the character the Suns/Mercury workplace, and they never, ever happened."
The NBA has another potential problem not even one week into the season.
Two days earlier, Enes Kanter from Boston called for Tibetan independence. These comments prompted a Chinese broadcasting partner not to stream Celtics games from that country.
Two other high-profile players are out of action for various reasons. Brooklyn won't allow Kyrie Irving to play with their team until he is vaccinated against coronavirus, and Philadelphia's Ben Simmons has not been able to participate in practices or games after requesting a trade.