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NBA commissioner Silver backs Sarver decision to sell Suns and Mercury
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NBA commissioner Adam Silver
NBA commissioner Adam Silver

NBA commissioner Adam Silver says Robert Sarver's decision to sell the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury is "right next step for the organisation and community."

Sarver on Wednesday announced that he intends to sell up after an investigation found him to have engaged in racist and sexist conduct.

The 60-year-old was suspended for one year and fined $10million by the NBA last week after an investigation questioned 320 people over allegations about Sarver's behaviour during his 18 years with the Suns.

Silver believes it is the right move from Sarver to seek buyers for the Suns and Mercury.

He said: "I fully support the decision by Robert Sarver to sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury. This is the right next step for the organisation and community."

Sarver earlier declared: "Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organisations that brought people together – and strengthened the Phoenix area – through the unifying power of professional men's and women's basketball. 

"I expected that the commissioner's one-year suspension would provide the time for me to focus, make amends and remove my personal controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love.

"But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible – that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past.

"For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury.

"I do not want to be a distraction to these two teams and the fine people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of basketball to fans around the world.

"I want what's best for these two organisations, the players, the employees, the fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone.

"In the meantime, I will continue to work on becoming a better person, and continuing to support the community in meaningful ways. Thank you for continuing to root for the Suns and the Mercury, embracing the power that sports has to bring us together."

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