In an open letter to Phoenix Suns players and employees, vice chairman Jahm Najafi called for the resignation of majority owner Robert Sarver, who faces a one-year suspension and $10 million fine for “workplace misconduct and organizational deficiencies” over his 18-year tenure as a Suns owner.
Per the Arizona Republic, Najafi wrote, “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.”
In response to both the NBA’s punishment and the report released by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, the law firm that carried out Sarver’s investigation, Najafi stated, “the conduct [Sarver] is alleged to have committed has stunned and saddened me and is unacceptable.”
The Suns’ minority owner “has no interest in becoming a managing partner,” but he cannot “sit back and allow our children and future generations of fans to think that this behavior is tolerated because of wealth and privilege.”
Alongside vice chair Sam Garvin, who will serve as the Sun’s interim Governor during Sarver’s one-year suspension, Najafi wrote that they will “will work tirelessly to ensure the next team steward treats all stakeholders with dignity, professionalism, and respect.”
Najafi went on to apologize to “all whose lives and professions have been impacted” and reiterated his personal commitment to helping “eradicate any form of racism, sexism, and bias, which is unacceptable anywhere in our society.” Nafaji’s open letter joined the chorus of several NBA figures who expressed that Sarver’s actions have no place in the League and that his punishment didn’t fit his crimes.
Najafi’s resolute call for Sarver’s resignation joins the sentiments of statements from LeBron James, Chris Paul, and NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio.
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