ESPN published an explosive piece on Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, detailing both his racist and misogynist behavior over the years.
Among the many revelations, former Suns coach Earl Watson accused Sarver of using racial slurs in the locker room where he stated Sarver repeatedly used the n-word after the team lost to the Warriors in October, 2016.
“You know, why does Draymond Green get to run up the court and say [n-word],” Sarver allegedly said, repeating the word numerous times after that. “You can’t say that,” Watson replied. “Why?” asked Sarver. “Draymond Green says [n-word].”
Green posted two tweets after the story was posted.
“But I was fined?? Lol smh,” Green said in the first tweet.
“Sometimes you have to see deeper than the surface. Always layers,” Green tweeted thereafter.
In a statement released through his legal team, Sarver denied that he used the racial slur. “I’ve never called anyone or any group of people the n-word,” he said. “I don’t use that word. It is abhorrent and ugly and denigrating and against everything I believe in.”
He did admit to using the word years ago.
“On one occasion a player used the n-word to describe the importance of having each others’ back,” he continued. “I responded by saying, I wouldn’t say n***a, I would say that we’re in the foxhole together.’” After that instance, he said an assistant coach approached him and told him not to say the word. “I immediately apologized and haven’t said it ever again.”
Sarver also denied Watson’s account of the October 2016 incident. “This is absolutely untrue,” he said. “During this conversation, I said ‘N-word’ without saying the full word. The word itself never crossed my lips. … I never once suggested on that night (or ever) that I should be able to say the N-word because a player or a Black person uses it.”
On Thursday afternoon, Suns president and CEO, Jason Rowley, released a statement refuting ESPN’s piece and defending Sarver.