After a 2016 game, Robert Sarver, Phoenix Suns owner, allegedly called Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors the N-word. According to Baxter Holmes, ESPN.The story details Sarver’s tenure with Suns, including allegations of racism. The Green incident occurred when Earl Watson was the head coaching coach. Holmes was told by Watson about Sarver’s use the N-word.
“You know, why does Draymond Green get to run up the court and say [N-word],”Sarver, who was white, said that he repeated the N-word multiple times in succession. Watson answered, “You can’t say that.”Sarver asked Watson why. Watson replied. “You can’t f—ing say that.”ESPN interviewed more 70 Suns employees who were there when Sarver was appointed owner in 2004. ESPN interviewed several employees who claimed that Sarver used racially insensitive language at work. Employees also remembered a time when Sarver passed around a photo of his wife wearing a bikini. They also spoke out about instances where Sarver’s wife had performed oral sex.
“The level of misogyny and racism is beyond the pale,”Sarver was the subject of a Suns coowner. “It’s embarrassing as an owner,”Sarver stated to ESPN through his legal team that he has never used racially insensitive words. Sarver did admit to having used the N word once in his youth.
“On one occasion a player used the N-word to describe the importance of having each others’ back,”Sarver spoke through his lawyers. “I responded by saying, ‘I wouldn’t say n—a, I would say that we’re in the foxhole together.’ An assistant coach approached me a short time after and told me that I shouldn’t say the word, even if I were quoting someone else. I immediately apologized and haven’t said it ever again. The N-word has never been a part of my vocabulary.”
ESPN reported that the NBA has not “received a complaint of misconduct at the Suns organization through any of our processes, including our confidential workplace misconduct hotline or other correspondence,”Per Mike Bass, spokesperson for the NBA. Michele Roberts, executive director of NBPA, stated that she had not heard of reporters reporting on players’ misconduct by Sarver and the Suns. Silver Screen Beats just finished a 2020-21 season in which they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals 4-2.