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NBA

Suns minority owner Jahm Najafi called for Robert Sarver’s resignation but what else did he say?

The NBA believes there is nothing more to be done, but between players, the fans and now the franchise’s minority owner, perhaps that’s about to change.

Update:
Suns minority owner Jahm Najafi called for Robert Sarver’s resignation but what else did he say?
CHRISTIAN PETERSENAFP

Having now received a yearlong ban from the NBA, for his part in creating a toxic work place environment, the pressure has been increased even further on the Suns owner as calls are being made for his resignation.

Suns’ Jahm Najafi calls for Robert Sarver’s resignation

According to reports, Phoenix Suns vice chairman and minority owner Jahm Najafi - the franchise’s second-largest stakeholder - has called for the resignation of majority owner Robert Sarver. As we now know, Sarver was recently suspended for one year and fined a further $10 million by the NBA, after a league backed probe into his inappropriate conduct in the workplace. The investigation itself was brought to bear following an ESPN article which was written last year. In the article, readers learned that there were a number of allegations made against Sarver for varying examples of inappropriate comments and behavior. Like LeBron James and the Suns own Chris Paul, who called for a stronger punishment, it would appear that Najafi is not satisfied with the league’s decision either.

What exactly did Jahm Najafi say?

In his statement, Najafi spoke to need for the eradication of racism, sexism and bias before doubling down on the notion that franchises are there to serve their communities and as such, must lead by example.

“Similar conduct by any CEO, executive director, president, teacher, coach, or any other position of leadership would warrant immediate termination. The fact that Robert Sarver ‘owns’ the team does not give him a license to treat others differently than any other leader. The fact that anyone would find him fit to lead because of this ‘ownership’ position is forgetting that NBA teams belong to the communities they serve. Team investors are merely temporary stewards. If we, as sports leaders, are not held to the same standards then how can we expect a functional society with integrity and respect on any level? We owe it to you: employees, players, partners, and your families to provide the same positive workplace environment we would require of any other business.”

“I cannot in good judgment sit back and allow our children and future generations of fans to think that this behavior is tolerated because of wealth and privilege. Therefore, in accordance with my commitment to helping eradicate any form of racism, sexism and bias, as Vice Chairman of the Phoenix Suns, I am calling for the resignation of Robert Sarver.

What happens to Robert Sarver now?

Though speculation has been intense, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has stated that neither he or the league itself have the right to take the franchise away from Sarver, which it must be said makes sense. As majority owner of the franchise, Sarver’s stake is legal and set in stone as they say. On the other hand, one has to feel that if enough noise is made, we may yet see the league take a different stance on the situation. Regardless, if there’s one thing that’s certain, Najafi’s move against Sarver won’t be the last we see in this situation. Watch this space.

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