It’s been nearly a week since Baxter Holmes of ESPN provided the world with an inside look at how Suns owner Robert Sarver goes about running his organization. The story was packed with allegations of Sarver acting like a racist, sexist shitbag and just generally being the kind of guy you’d never want to speak to for more than eight seconds. If Sarver’s wife, Penny, had any intent of softening her husband’s image through her actions this week, she failed miserably.
According to ESPN, Penny Sarver recently reached out to three ex-Suns employees in order to deliver vaguely threatening messages to them. Two of those ex-employees told ESPN that Penny reached out to them via Instagram, while another said they received a text message. What did Penny have to say? You can probably guess what a horrible rich lady, who is married to a horrible rich man, would say to people who dared speak publicly about how much it sucks to work for him.
“This is Penny Sarver,” one message began. “I know a lot of 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 realize the hurt you are causing by spreading lies and fabrications. Is your time in the spotlight that important? If something happens to one of my children, I will hold you and Earl Watson personally responsible. Think about your own child for a second and imagine the tables turned.”ESPN
Yep, that seems about right. As for the other messages:
A second former employee received a message that began, “I am so terribly saddened that you would say such untrue things about my husband. Your interpretation of what happened is so far from the truth. You are crushing my families lives. Thanks for that.”
A third former employee said their message began, “You are such a liar. In your trying to destroy my husband with [your] lies — you have destroyed my family and children.”ESPN
Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated has unearthed a video of Robert Sarver delivering a memorial roast of former Suns minority owner Dick Heckmann following Heckmann’s death in 2020. Even by the standards of a posthumous roast, Robert’s performance was plenty slimy. The video shows him making a joke about Heckmann’s sons “fucking their way through the cheerleading team,” and making fun of someone in the crowd for having a receptionist with “small tits.”
It’s safe to assume that all rich people, particularly those who are from Arizona, are just absolute nightmare human beings. And yet, it’s still kind of jarring to see how quickly Penny and Robert Sarver, with just a little bit of light cast in their direction, were revealed to be exactly as awful as you’d expect them to be. They aren’t even awful in novel or interesting ways. The only thing that separates Penny from the rich suburbanite who terrorizes her neighbors on Nextdoor, or Robert from the anonymous country-club goblin who ogles the waitstaff, is the fact that they have more money and are a little bit closer to the public eye. Rich people are just like this, whether they own a sports team or a local poultry factory, and it sucks to be reminded that something as cool and fun as the NBA can be a home for any of them.