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Suns minority owner calls for Sarver's resignation

Andrew D. Bernstein / National Basketball Association / Getty

Phoenix Suns minority owner Jahm Najafi wants Robert Sarver to step down after an investigation found that the latter engaged in "workplace misconduct and organizational deficiencies."

The inquiry confirmed that the Suns and Phoenix Mercury majority owner had used racist and sexually inappropriate language.

"Similar conduct by any CEO, executive director, president, teacher, coach, or any other position of leadership would warrant immediate termination. The fact that Robert Sarver 'owns' the team does not give him a license to treat others differently than any other leader," Najafi said in a statement obtained by Bianca Buono of KPNX NBC 12 News.

"The fact that anyone would find him fit to lead because of this 'ownership' position is forgetting that NBA teams belong to the communities they serve. ... 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."

Najafi said he's not interested in becoming the franchise's managing partner but promised to ensure the individual chosen will treat all stakeholders with "dignity, professionalism, and respect."

In the meantime, NBA commissioner Adam Silver appointed Suns vice chairman and minority owner Sam Garvin as the club's interim governor, sources told ESPN's Baxter Holmes and Zach Lowe.

Najafi owns the second-largest stake in the Suns and isn't the only person within the organization criticizing the league's sanctions against Sarver.

Phoenix guard Chris Paul felt the one-year suspension and $10-million fine levied by the NBA on Sarver "fell short."

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James added the Association was "wrong" in its punishment of Sarver.

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