A report on Friday that there’s a report coming on racism, sexism, and harassment by Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver prompted Sarver to somehow make himself look worse before the reported report could even be reported.
The Suns’ initial statement already raises questions:
“We understand that an outlet is considering publishing a proposed story that makes completely baseless claims against the Suns organization concerning a variety of topics. Documentary evidence in our possession and eyewitness accounts directly contradict the reporter’s accusations, and we are preparing our response to his questions. We urge everyone not to rush to judgment here. Especially based on lies, innuendo, and a false narrative to attack our organization and its leadership.”
Golly. Documentary evidence of something kinda makes it seem like the idea of whatever is being reported being “completely baseless” is inaccurate. It’s clearly based on… something? Also, usually, if you’re aware of a story being prepared about you, and you have documentary evidence that shows you’ve done nothing wrong, you can usually share that with the reporter, who would then report that as part of the story, or perhaps wind up not going with the story at all, if it turns out, as you say, there’s no story there.
Then there’s Sarver’s follow-up statement, in which he says that the outlet preparing the story about him is ESPN. When you write, “I despise language that disrespects any individuals, regardless of race, gender, preference, or choice,” well, now you’ve kind of given up the game on having used a slur somewhere, sometime.
“I don’t begin to know how to prove that something DIDN’T happen, and it is difficult to erase or forget ugly accusations once they are made,” Sarver also wrote. Except that the first statement said that there were documentary evidence and eyewitness accounts to prove that whatever allegedly happened, didn’t happen. Also, no ugly accusations have been made, at least not publicly.
“I would like to think that my actions and public record regarding race, gender, or discrimination of any kind, over a lifetime in business and community service, will adequately answer any questions anyone might raise about my commitment to equality and fairness,” Sarver concluded.
Well, we know how Sarver has spent his money in the political arena, and that does adequately answer questions about his commitment to equality and fairness. And it’s as good a time as any to remember when he got roasted by a nonagenarian at a city council meeting.
Somehow, a quick quote from Suns general manager James Jones — “None of what’s been said describes the Robert Sarver I know, respect and like — it just doesn’t.” — isn’t going to be convincing evidence that Sarver is, in fact, a good guy, and that if ESPN goes ahead with a report about him (and we’re still waiting soooo… this all could have been for nothing, maybe?), that it’ll be a pack of lies.