The NBA’s punishment for Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver has come under plenty of scrutiny. The league announced earlier this week in the aftermath of an independent investigation into numerous allegations of racism and sexism that Sarver will be suspended for a year and receive a fine of $10 million.
Adam Silver came under fire for how he tried to justify the decision, namely why Sarver is still allowed to own the team. In the days following, LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Suns minority owner Jahm Najafi have all spoken out against the extent of the punishment, with Najafi saying that Sarver should resign. And now, Sarver is coming under even more pressure to leave the team, as the Suns’ jersey sponsor made clear it will not renew its partnership with them if he’s around beyond this season.
“PayPal is a values-driven company and has a strong record of combatting racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination,” the company’s president and CEO, Dan Schulman, said in a statement. “We have reviewed the report of the NBA league’s independent investigation into Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver and have found his conduct unacceptable and in conflict with our values. PayPal’s sponsorship with the Suns is set to expire at the end of the current season. In light of the findings of the NBA’s investigation, we will not renew our sponsorship should Robert Sarver remain involved with the Suns organization, after serving his suspension.
While we strongly reject the conduct of Robert Sarver, we remain supportive of the team, its players and the experienced and diverse talent now leading the organization, including Head Coach, Monty Williams, General Manager, James Jones, Assistant General Manager, Morgan Cato, and Senior Vice President of People and Culture, Kim Corbitt.”
PayPal became the team’s jersey sponsor in 2018-19.