NBA

Former Suns employees received messages from Penny Sarver, wife of the owner

In light of the current NBA investigation into workplace conduct, it would seem that Sarver's messages don't help their case.

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Former Suns employees received messages from Penny Sarver, wife of the owner

With an official NBA investigation into workplace conduct underway, this latest piece of news surely won't help.

Penny Sarver sends messages to former Phoenix Suns employees

There are three former Phoenix Suns employees who have received text messages from Penny Sarver, the wife of Robert Sarver, who is the team's majority owner. Two messages were sent from her official Instagram account and the other message was sent from a phone number which belongs to Penny Sarver. The former employees in question say that they believe the messages to be an attempt to intimidate them.

The news of course comes in the wake the NBA launching an investigation into Robert Sarver and the Suns after ESPN previously published a story based on interviews with more than 70 current and former Suns employees, many of whom described a workplace that could at times be toxic and hostile during Sarver's 17-year period with the Suns.

Penny Sarver confirms the authenticity of the messages

Speaking in response to a request for comment, Penny Sarver did in fact confirm that it was her who sent the messages and went on to say that she looks forward to the NBA's investigation. "Over the weekend, I decided on my own to reach out to a few people to try to set the record straight and to share how disappointed and hurt I am by the lies that are circulating about my husband and the Suns organization," Sarver said. "I shared the betrayal that I felt and I touched on some of the pain that we are going through as a family. Any suggestion that I tried to 'intimidate' anyone is as silly as it is wrong and outrageous."

What did Penny Sarver's messages say?

According to ESPN - who reviewed the messages - they read as follows:

"This is Penny Sarver," one message begins. "I know a lot of bridges were burned between you and Robert and you are very bitter. I want to remind you that real lives are at stake here." Later, she adds, "Please put your hatred aside and realize the hurt you are causing by spreading lies and fabrications. Is your time in the spotlight that important? If something happens to one of my children, I will hold you and Earl Watson personally responsible. Think about your own child for a second and imagine the tables turned." Watson is a former Suns head coach who was included in the original ESPN article which precipitated the NBA's investigation. He directly alluded to Sarver's language and behavior which he believed created a toxic workplace.

"I don't know how to interpret it other than as a threat," one former employee said of the message they received. A second former employee received a message that read, "I am so terribly saddened that you would say such untrue things about my husband. Your interpretation of what happened is so far from the truth. You are crushing my families lives. Thanks for that."

Indeed there was also a third employee whose message was accusatory, "You are such a liar. In your trying to destroy my husband with [your] lies - you have destroyed my family and children." Speaking on the notion of intimidation, one employee stated that they felt quite the opposite in that the messages gave them more determination to have their opinion heard by investigators.