PayPal said Friday it wont renew its sponsorship agreement with the Phoenix Suns if the teams controversial owner Robert Sarver doesnt resign, in probably the most high-profile financial fallout of an NBA probe released earlier this week that found Sarver engaged in racist and misogynist behavior, but allowed Sarver to help keep the team after serving a one-year suspension.
PayPal won’t use the Suns if Sarver remains associated with the team after his one-year suspension is up, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in a statement, saying the business strongly reject[s] the conduct of Robert Sarver.
PayPal has been the Suns jersey patch sponsor since 2018, an agreement that has been set to expire following the 2022-23 season.
The move comes amid increasing calls for Sarver never to go back to power, either by way of a forced sale or resignation, including from the Suns second-largest stakeholder and vice chairman Jahm Najafi, who called for Sarver to step down Thursday.
Sarver said in a statement released by the team Tuesday he takes full responsibility for what I’ve done though he disagreed with a number of the particulars of the NBAs report.
The terms of the Suns cope with PayPal are unknown, but jersey patch sponsors typically pay NBA teams between $5 million and $20 million per season. Findings from the 10-month NBA investigation into Sarver released Tuesday discovered that he said the N-word at the very least five times, bullied employees and made inappropriate and sexually charged comments to and about female employees. The league fined Sarver $10 million and barred him from all team activities for 12 months. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver defended the leagues punishment Wednesday, saying the league struggles to punish owners further, regardless of the NBA banning LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling forever in 2014 for an identical racist incident. Many of the NBAs most prominent players said the NBAs sanctions didn’t hold Sarver accountable, including Suns star Chris Paul and LeBron James.