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#pounditWednesday, December 7, 2022

Suns could lose major sponsor over Robert Sarver allegations

Robert Sarver shouts from the sideline

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

The Phoenix Suns are at risk of losing a major sponsor over allegations surrounding owner Robert Sarver.

PayPal, the Suns’ jersey patch sponsor, said in a statement Friday that it will not renew its sponsorship agreement with the Suns if Sarver remains the team’s owner following his one-year suspension for racist and misogynist remarks.

“In light of the findings of the NBA’s investigation, we will not renew our sponsorship should Robert Sarver remain involved with the Suns organization, after serving his suspension,” PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in a statement, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN.

PayPal’s sponsorship agreement will expire after the 2022-23 season. According to ESPN, it is worth roughly $3 million annually.

An NBA investigation found that Sarver repeated the N-word at least five times during his tenure as owner of the Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, and also engaged in sexually inappropriate conduct toward female employees. The league suspended Sarver for one year in light of the investigation, a punishment that has been criticized as too lenient by key figures within the sport.

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