Yet another high-ranking man in sports is in hot water.
Recently it was Jon Gruden for racist remarks in emails, and now it’s Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver due to allegations of misogyny and racism. Earlier today, ESPN dropped a heavily researched report detailing many of Sarver’s conversations and actions during his 17-year tenure.
One of the most shocking accounts came in 2016 when Earl Watson was coaching just his third game for the Suns –which would end in a 106-100 loss- when Sarver commented about the opposing team, Golden State Warriors Draymond Green. Then, according to ESPN, Sarver took to the locker room and asked Watson an odd question after the game.
“You know, why does Draymond Green get to run up the court and say [N-word],” Sarver, who is white, allegedly said as he repeated the N-word.
According to ESPN, the conversation continued:
“You can’t say that,” Watson, who’s of Black and Hispanic descent, told Sarver.
“Why?” Sarver replied. “Draymond Green says [N-word].”
“You can’t f—ing say that,” Watson said again.
Another moment came years earlier in 2013 when Sarver wanted to hire former Black NBA player Lindsey Hunter as head coach over former white coach Dan Majerle.
At the time, Hunter was a first-year player development coordinator while Majerle was in his fifth year as an associate head coach, but according to an exec who wants to remain anonymous, Sarver claimed that “These [N-words] need a [N-word].”
The same situation arose in 2016 when he wanted to hire a Black coach because they’d better relate to the primarily Black roster, saying “speak their language.”
Sarver has since responded, denying ever using the N-Word, with his statement reading, “I’ve never called anyone or any group of people the N-word, or referred to anyone or any group of people by the N-word, either verbally or in writing. I don’t use that word. It is abhorrent and ugly and denigrating and against everything I believe in.”
Twitter has already caught wind of the controversy. Here are the reactions so far: