PayPal — the jersey sponsor of the Phoenix Suns since 2018 — says it will not renew its deal with the organization if owner Robert Sarver returns following his one-year suspension from the league.
The NBA suspended Sarver for an entire season and fined him $10 million for racist and misogynist remarks. PayPal doesn’t believe that punishment fits the crime. The company joins team minority owner Jahm Najafi and LeBron James, who have publicly called for Sarver to resign.
“PayPal is a values-driven company and has a strong record of combatting racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination,” PayPal CEO and president Dan Schulman said in a statement. “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.
“… 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.”
PayPal’s deal with the Suns for last season was worth a reported $3 million.
The NBA’s investigation found that Sarver used the N-word at least five times “when recounting the statements of others.”
Sarver purchased the Suns in 2004 for $401 million. PayPal wants him to be forced to sell the team — or have it taken away — following the league’s findings.
It will be interesting to see what this statement from PayPal does to their market. The California-based online payment company’s stock price is down over 52% year-to-date. Their share cost is under $93 at the time of this writing.