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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Report: Phoenix Suns Toxic Workplace Culture More Than Sarver

  • Team president and CEO Jason Rowley was included in the scathing report.
  • Sarver put the Suns and Mercury up for sale in September.
Former Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns’ toxic workplace culture likely went beyond owner Robert Sarver.

According to some former and current employees, many in the Suns’ hierarchy, including president and CEO Jason Rowley, participated in the culture Sarver created — but have not faced consequences, per a new report from ESPN.

ESPN’s reporting confirmed many of the accounts of alleged misconduct within the organization by Rowley and other executives — and even found new allegations against those at the top of the team.

“Sarver created the culture, but [the executives] upheld it,” said one current employee.

“I remember when all this stuff came out about Robert, I thought, ‘Finally, but when are others going to be held accountable?’” a former female employee said.


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Sarver was suspended for one year and fined $10 million by the NBA for participating in “conduct that clearly violated common workplace standards,” per an outside investigation into the Suns published in September.

After intense public backlash, Sarver ultimately decided to sell the Suns and their WNBA counterpart, the Phoenix Mercury.

In mid-December, Jack Selby, managing director at Thiel Capital, and Jason Pressman, managing director at Shasta Ventures, reportedly made a $3 billion offer to buy the teams.

Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Barack Obama have also had their names thrown around in potential Phoenix ownership discussions.

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