Three former Phoenix Suns employees received messages from Penny Sarver (the wife of Robert Sarver), who is also the majority owner.
Two messages were sent from @pennsar's Instagram account. Another was a text message that came from Penny Sarver's number.
Former employees claim that the messages were intended to intimidate them. In the wake of ESPN publishing an article based on interviews with over 70 Suns employees, the NBA launched an investigation into Sarver. The story was based on statements made by former Suns employees about a hostile and toxic workplace that Sarver had experienced during his 17-year tenure in Phoenix.
Penny Sarver, who was reached for comment by The Daily Beast, confirmed that she had sent the messages and stated that she is looking forward to the NBA's investigation.
Penny Sarver stated, "Over the weekend I decided on my personal initiative to reach out to a few people in an effort to correct the record and to express my disappointment and hurt at the lies being circulated about my husband and Suns organization." "I shared my feelings of betrayal and touched on the pain we are experiencing as a family.
"Any suggestion that I attempted to intimidate anyone is absurd and ridiculous."
ESPN reviewed the messages and confirmed that each of the employees received them.
One message started with "This is Penny Sarver." "I am very sorry that you and Robert have lost many bridges. "Real lives are at stake in this situation, I want you to remember."
The message was added to later: "Please forget your hatred and see the harm you are causing by spreading lies, fabrications, and other misinformation." Is it really that important to spend your time in the limelight? If anything happens to my children, Earl Watson and I will be held personally responsible. For a second, think about your child and picture the outcome.
Watson, a former Suns head coaching coach, told ESPN that Sarver’s language and behavior encouraged a toxic workplace.
One former employee stated that the message was a threat and that he didn't know how to interpret.
Another former employee received a message saying, "I am so very saddened that your would say such untrue about my husband." Your interpretation of the events is far from truth. Your actions are destroying my family's lives. Thank you.
Another former employee stated that their message started with "You are such an liar." You are trying to destroy my husband by [your] lies. I have also destroyed my family members and children.
One employee stated that they were uneasy by the message, but they wouldn't be intimidated. They were also more confident to talk to investigators about their experience at the Suns under Robert Sarver.