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Suns Officials, Owner Deny Accusations in Upcoming Story

NBA insider says a report is coming out alleging racism and sexism
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2021 11:23 AM CDT
Suns Owner Denies Accusation of Racism Ahead of Story
File photo of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver . The Suns released a statement regarding a potential media investigation into the workplace culture of the franchise, denying that the organization or Sarver has a history of racism or sexism.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

(Newser) – The Phoenix Suns have released a statement denying a story that hasn’t even been published yet. A tweet on the team’s official account reads, “We understand that an outlet is considering publishing a proposed story that makes completely baseless claims against the Suns organization concerning a variety of topics.” It goes on to say they can prove the reporter’s facts aren’t straight and asks that nobody rush to judgment. According to a viral tweet from sports journalist Jordan Schultz, this is all a reaction to a story ESPN is working on accusing Suns owner Robert Sarver of “racism, sexism and sexual harassment in a series of incidents.” Schultz said “there’s a real chance the league would forcibly remove Sarver,” much like the NFL washed its hands of Jon Gruden. Or, closer to home, how former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling got hit with a lifetime ban.

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Sarver has denied doing anything wrong, AZCentral reports. “I am wholly shocked by some of the allegations purported by ESPN about me, personally, or about the Phoenix Suns and Mercury organizations," the team owner said in a statement. The Suns manager, James Jones, and team president and CEO, Jason Rowley, also released statements in support of Sarver. Sarver also owns the Phoenix Mercury WNBA team. Until now, the biggest criticism Sarver had faced from fans was not shelling out to extend rising star Deandre Ayton’s contract, CNBC reports. (Read more Robert Sarver stories.)

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