Phoenix Suns vice chairman Jahm Najafi released an open letter on Thursday calling for the team’s majority owner Robert Sarver to resign after he was suspended in response to an investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct.
“In accordance with my commitment to helping eradicate any form of racism, sexism and bias, as Vice Chairman of the Phoenix Suns, I am calling for the resignation of Robert Sarver,” wrote Najafi in the letter published by The Arizona Republic.
“I have no choice but to speak up on behalf of the hundreds of you who have been impacted by your interactions with Robert Sarver and the resulting investigation of his conduct.”
The NBA investigation into Sarver, which culminated in a one-year suspension from his ownership and a fine of $10 million, found that the businessman had engaged in misogynistic and racist conduct in the workplace.
Najafi noted that the report found that Sarver used the “N-word” multiple times and regularly made demeaning and sexually harassing comments toward women.
“There should be zero tolerance for discriminatory actions of any level, in any setting, let alone a professional one,” Najafi wrote.
The vice chairman added that Sarver’s position as owner of the team should not excuse him for exhibiting harmful behavior.
“I cannot in good judgment sit back and allow our children and future generations of fans to think that this behavior is tolerated because of wealth and privilege,” continued Najafi.
“While I have no interest in becoming the managing partner, I will work tirelessly to ensure the next team steward treats all stakeholders with dignity, professionalism and respect.”