Phoenix Suns co-owner Robert Sarver on the team plane.
(Image source: Instagram/@bossman99)

One NBA franchise is in hot water after an extensive report dropped about one of its co-owners.

ESPN published a story on Nov. 4, 2021, that included multiple claims Phoenix Suns co-owner Robert Sarver used racial slurs and created a misogynistic work environment over his 17-year tenure.

The story opens with Sarver allegedly questioning why Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green could say “n—-” after Phoenix’s loss to Golden State in October 2016.

“You can’t say that,” former Suns coach Earl Watson, a Hispanic and Black man, reportedly said to Sarver.

Sarver allegedly repeated the slur.

After the article was published, Green tweeted an apparent response to the alleged situation.


Sarver denied all claims of using racial slurs in his past with the exception of one time. In an answer sent through his lawyers to ESPN, one Suns player used the n-word in reference to defending his teammates. Sarver said he responded by repeating the n-word, before quickly being corrected, immediately apologizing and not using it again.

Sarver also allegedly asked a woman if he “owned” her as opposed to asking her if she worked for the Suns.

ESPN reported its several attempts to reach Sarver directly were unsuccessful, as team general manager James Jones, a Black man, and team CEO Jason Rowley denied claims of Sarver being prejudice or misogynistic. The report also claims Sarver used the n-word twice in a sentence to explain why he wanted the franchise to hire a Black coach in 2013.

“These n—– need a n—-,” Sarver reportedly told a staff member.

When sports agent Rich Paul represented former Sun Eric Bledsoe and he negotiated with Sarver, Paul reportedly told Sarver he knew basketball and this wasn’t “tennis,” the sport Sarver played as a child.

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