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PayPal CEO and President Dan Schulman said Friday his company will not renew its
sponsorship with the Phoenix Suns if suspended owner Robert Sarver remains involved with the organization after the conclusion of Sarver’s one-year suspension.
suspended by the NBA Tuesday for one season and fined $10 million following the league’s investigation into claims Sarver ran a toxic workplace environment.
Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver attends Game 2 of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Footprint Center Oct. 13, 2021, in Phoenix, Ariz. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images / Getty Images)
The NBA found that Sarver "repeated the N-word when recounting the statements of others" at least five times, and "engaged in instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees, made many sex-related comments in the workplace, made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women, and on several occasions engaged in inappropriate physical conduct toward male employees."
PayPal, the jersey patch sponsor of the Suns, said Friday that the relationship with the Suns will end at the end of the current season if Sarver returns after his suspension.
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"PayPal is a values-driven company and has a strong record of combating racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination. 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," Schulman said in a statement.
Owner Robert Sarver of the Phoenix Suns does an interview after Game 6 of the Western Conference finals of the 2021 NBA Playoffs June 30, 2021, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images / Getty Images)
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"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."
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PayPal’s statement is just the latest backlash following the NBA’s punishment of Sarver.
On Thursday, Suns minority owner Jahm Najafi called on Sarver to resign from his position.
Owner Robert Sarver stands with the Western Conference championship trophy after the Suns beat the LA Clippers to win the series in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals at Staples Center June 30, 2021, in Los Angeles. (Harry How/Getty Images / Getty Images)
"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," Najafi wrote in an open letter. "Therefore, 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. While I have no interest in becoming managing partner, I will work tirelessly to ensure the next team steward treats all stakeholders with dignity, professionalism and respect."
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The deal between PayPal and the Suns was reportedly worth $3 million during the 2021-2022 season, according to ESPN.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report
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