Three former Phoenix Suns employees have received messages from Penny Sarver, the wife of Robert Sarver, who is the majority owner of the team.
Two messages came from the Instagram account @pennsar and another was a text message from a number that belongs to Penny Sarver.
These former employees say they view the messages as an attempt to intimidate them. The NBA launched an investigation into Sarver and the Suns after ESPN published a story based on interviews with more than 70 current and former Suns employees who described a sometimes toxic and hostile workplace during Sarver’s 17-year tenure. in Phoenix.
When contacted for comment, Penny Sarver confirmed that she sent the messages and said she looks forward to the NBA investigation.
“Over the weekend, I decided on my own to reach out to some people to try to clear things up and share how disappointed and hurt I am by the lies that are circulating about my husband and the organization,” said Penny Sarver. “I shared the betrayal I felt and mentioned part of the pain that we are going through as a family.
“Any suggestion that I tried to ‘bully’ someone is as silly as it is incorrect and outrageous.”
ESPN has reviewed the messages, which former employees confirmed they received.
“This is Penny Sarver,” began a message. “I know many bridges were burned between you and Robert and you are very bitter. I want to remind you that real lives are at stake here.”
Later, the message added: “Please put your hatred aside and understand the harm you are causing by spreading lies. Is your time in the limelight that important? If something happens to one of my children, I’ll hug you and Earl Watson. Think of your own son for a second. “
Watson is a former Suns head coach who told ESPN that Sarver’s language and behavior created a toxic workplace.
“I don’t know how to interpret it other than as a threat,” said a former employee of the message they received.
A second former employee received a message that said: “I am very sad that you say such false things about my husband. Your interpretation of what happened is so far from the truth. You are crushing the life of my family. [sic]. Thanks”.
A third former employee said his message began: “You are a liar. By trying to destroy my husband with [tus] lies, you have destroyed my family and my children. “
One of the employees said he was concerned about the message but would not be intimidated and was further encouraged to speak to investigators about his Suns experiences with Robert Sarver.