Robert Sarver’s tenure as the owner of the Phoenix Suns has come under heavy scrutiny in recent days following a report from Baxter Holmes of ESPN alleging that he fostered a hostile work environment. This included a number of incidents of racism, sexism, and sexual harassment, and in the aftermath, the NBA has launched an investigation into Sarver and the franchise.
A new report from Holmes indicates that Sarver’s wife, Penny, responded to these allegations and the subsequent investigation by reaching out from a trio of ex-Suns employees — two via her Instagram account, one via text. One of the former employees said they viewed the correspondence they received from Sarver as “a threat.”
The first message Sarver sent included the line, “Think about your own child for a second and imagine the tables turned,” while the second featured, “Your interpretation of what happened is so far from the truth. You are crushing my families lives.” In the third, Sarver told its recipient, “You are such a liar. In your trying to destroy my husband with [your] lies — you have destroyed my family and children.”
While Sarver did not dispute that she sent the messages, she did push back against their characterization in a statement to ESPN.
“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,” Penny Sarver said. “I shared the betrayal that I felt and I touched on some of the pain that we are going through as a family.
“Any suggestion that I tried to ‘intimidate’ anyone is as silly as it is wrong and outrageous.”
It is unclear how Sarver knew that these individuals spoke to ESPN for its original piece highlighting her husband’s alleged behavior, or why she thought reaching out to these people was a good idea.