The NBA is investigating Suns owner Robert Sarver after allegations he made racist and sexist comments in operating the team and oversaw a toxic workplace.
His wife, Penny Sarver, isn’t just idly sitting on the bench waiting for the results. She sent messages to former team employees.
“This is Penny Sarver,” one message began. “I know a lot of bridges were burned between you and Robert and you are very bitter. I want to remind you that real lives are at stake here.”
Later, the message added, “Please put your hatred aside and realize the hurt you are causing by spreading lies and fabrications. Is your time in the spotlight that important? If something happens to one of my children, I will hold you and Earl Watson personally responsible. Think about your own child for a second and imagine the tables turned.”
A second former employee received a message that began, “I am so terribly saddened that you would say such untrue things about my husband. Your interpretation of what happened is so far from the truth. You are crushing my families [sic] lives. Thanks for that.”
A third former employee said their message began, “You are such a liar. In your trying to destroy my husband with [your] lies — you have destroyed my family and children.”
Sarver confirmed she sent the three messages and had this as part of her response, echoing what her husband has said about the ESPN report.
“Over the weekend, I decided on my own to reach out to a few people to try to set the record straight and to share how disappointed and hurt I am by the lies that are circulating about my husband and the Suns organization.”
Earl Watson is a former Suns coach who says Sarver used the n-word, said he disliked diversity and fired Watson because Watson shared an agency with Eric Bledsoe (a player in a contract dispute with Phoenix).
It’s unfortunate if the (all adult) Sarver children are caught in a scandal they’re not responsible for. Penny’s desire to protect her family is understandable.
But the allegations against Robert warrant serious investigation. It’s hard to see how Penny — who of course has an attachment to Robert and can’t know everything that happened — contacting former team employees to accuse them of lying at all helps anything.