Suns’ owner Robert Sarver admitted to using the N-word once after being accused of using it repeatedly.
The 60-year-old owner of the team for the last 17 years has been accused of racism and admitted to one claim alone, ESPN reported in a piece published Thursday.
In the lengthy piece, Earl Watson, the coach of the team from 2016-17, shared with the outlet an alleged moment when Sarver reportedly used the racial slur.
Suns Owner Robert Sarver Accused Of Repeatedly Using N-Word, Admits Saying It Oncehttps://t.co/jkdGNGhkle
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) November 4, 2021
“You know, why does Draymond Green get to run up the court and say [N-word],” Sarver allegedly said, repeating the N-word several times in a row, the outlet reported. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)
“You can’t say that,” Watson replied.
“Why?” Sarver reportedly responded. “Draymond Green says [N-word].”
“You can’t f—ing say that,” Watson shared.
ESPN interviewed dozens former and current Suns employees, who made similar allegations and described a toxic workplace under Sarver’s ownership.
“I’ve never called anyone or any group of people the N-word, or referred to anyone or any group of people by the N-word, either verbally or in writing,” Sarver shared with the outlet through his legal team. “I don’t use that word. It is abhorrent and ugly and denigrating and against everything I believe in.”
But did admit to using the word once, the outlet noted.
“On one occasion a player used the N-word to describe the importance of having each others’ back,” Sarver shared through his attorneys. “I responded by saying, ‘I wouldn’t say n—a, I would say that we’re in the foxhole together.'”
“An assistant coach approached me a short time after and told me that I shouldn’t say the word, even if I were quoting someone else,” he added. “I immediately apologized and haven’t said it ever again. The N-word has never been a part of my vocabulary.”
He also denied Watson’s recall of the conversation, calling it “absolutely untrue.”
“This is absolutely untrue,” Sarver shared. “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.”
“Let me be crystal clear: 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,” he added, according to the outlet.
A high-level executive claimed that Sarver once used the word to explain his hiring of Lindsey Hunter over Dan Majerle as head coach in 2013, reportedly saying that “these [N-words] need a [N-word].”
Sarver, through his legal team, has denied making those comments.