“你懂, why does (Golden State Warriors forward) Draymond Green get to run up the court and say (N-word),” Watson recalled Sarver telling him. Watson says he told the team owner that he couldn’t use that word.
“为什么?” Sarver reportedly replied, “Draymond Green says (N-word).”
Sarver denied Watson’s account of the exchange. “This is absolutely untrue. I remember the game and topic clearly. I of course never used the word myself. During this conversation, I said ‘N-word’ without saying the full word. The word itself never crossed my lips,” Sarver said, 根据ESPN.
CNN has reached out to Watson for comment.
Multiple unnamed employees told ESPN that Sarver made inappropriate, sexual comments during staff meetings. Specific examples included Sarver describing his sex life with his wife. He would also publicly ask players about their sex lives.
In the report, Sarver denies publicly talking about his or others’ sex lives.
ESPN’s story also quotes a former female employee who says Sarver would ask questions like, “Do I own you? Are you one of mine?”
Throughout the ESPN report, Sarver, through his legal representation, denies the most serious accounts of racist and sexually charged language. In one incident in which Sarver is accused of pulling an employee’s pants down in front of more than 60 人, Sarver, through his lawyers to ESPN, acknowledged the account and apologized to the employee.
The ESPN investigation came to light two weeks ago and was immediately refuted by Sarver, the Suns and Mercury before the story was published.
在十月 22, in anticipation of the release of the report, Sarver said in a statement, “I am wholly shocked by some of the allegations purported by ESPN about me, 亲身, or about the Phoenix Suns and Mercury organizations,” Sarver said.
“While I can’t begin to know how to respond to some of the vague suggestions made by mostly anonymous voices, I can certainly tell you that some of the claims I find completely repugnant to my nature and to the character of the Suns/Mercury workplace and I can tell you they never, ever happened.”
The same day, both the Suns and Mercury released statements calling the imminent ESPN report, “baseless.”
CNN has reached out to Sarver, the Suns and Mercury for comment on the allegations in the ESPN report.
星期四, Suns vice chairman Jahm Najafi released a statement saying, “I have been made aware of the allegations against Robert Sarver, the managing partner who runs the Phoenix Suns. The conduct he is alleged to have committed has stunned and saddened me and is unacceptable.
他加了, “My sincerest sympathy goes out to all whose lives and professions have been impacted. … Although today’s revelations fall under the jurisdiction of the League which decides and takes any action based on its finding, I offer my support to ensure there is full accountability.”
The NBA and WNBA have hired a New York-based law firm, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, to investigate the matter, spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement.
Bass called the allegations “extremely serious.”
NBA spokesperson Mike Bass told ESPN the league never “received a complaint of misconduct at the Suns organization through any of our processes, including our confidential workplace misconduct hotline or other correspondence.”
根据一个 biography on NBA.com
, Sarver is chairman and CEO of Western Alliance Bancorporation
, a financial institution headquartered in Arizona
, and co-founder of Southwest Value Partners
, a real estate investment fund
CNN has requested comment from each group.