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#pounditMonday, December 6, 2021

Suns owner Robert Sarver facing removal amid accusations of racism, sexism?

Robert Sarver in the stands

The NBA may be bracing itself for a repeat of the Donald Sterling situation.

Jordan Schultz of Boardroom reported Friday that the league is preparing for a massive story accusing Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver of racism, sexism, and sexual harassment. Schultz added personal speculation that with enough evidence to support such claims, there could be a real chance that the NBA forcibly removes Sarver. Chris Mannix of Yahoo! Sports added that the story is a pending piece from ESPN.

The 59-year-old Sarver purchased the Suns back in 2004 for a then-record $401 million. He was recently in the news for his reported unwillingness to give a max extension to starting center Deandre Ayton after Phoenix’s NBA Finals berth last season.

The Suns released a statement in response to the anticipated report. They called the claims “completely baseless” and said that documentary evidence and eyewitness accounts would directly contradict those accusations. The statement also encouraged the public not to rush to judgment based on “lies, innuendo, and a false narrative.”

Sarver himself issued a statement as well. He said that he was “wholly shocked” by the accusations and found those claims to be “completely repugnant.” Sarver added that he rejected any form of racism or gender discrimination as well as any disparaging language to that effect. He categorically denied ever having used such language.

It is no secret that Sarver is an alleged cheapskate who is not very well liked around the league. Some of his former players have even accused him of not caring about the team. But these latest accusations definitely sound much more serious, despite the denials of Sarver and the organization. If true, they could ultimately lead to Sarver’s removal from the Suns, similar to how Sterling got ousted from the LA Clippers in 2014.

Photo: Jan 22, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver reacts against the Indiana Pacers in the first half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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