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Who is Robert Sarver's wife? A look at Penny Sanders amid sexual harassment scandal

Phoenix Suns' owner denies wrongdoing, slams 'completely repugnant' claims after allegations NBA could force him out
UPDATED OCT 23, 2021
Phoenix Suns' owner Robert Sarver has been accused of sexual harassment and racism (Twitter)
Phoenix Suns' owner Robert Sarver has been accused of sexual harassment and racism (Twitter)

Phoenix Suns' owner Robert Sarver has furiously denied any allegations of wrongdoing, after being accused of sexual harassment and racism. Reportedly, the NBA is also eyeing removing Sarver from his position as a result of the "massive story". Reportedly, there's "strong evidence" of the claims against Sarver, with ESPN due to publish the story soon. But even before they did, the Arizona-origin businessman attempted to get in front and deny the allegations.

The damning allegations and response echo the actions of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was recently forced to step down. In late September, his brother Chris Cuomo was also accused of harassment. The Cuomo scandal had far-reaching effects, such as the firing of the Human Rights Council's first Black President Alphonso David. Now, it appears Sarver could be heading in a similar direction.


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Details of the accusations have not yet been revealed. On October 23, Jordan Shultz revealed the allegations tweeting, "Breaking: The NBA is preparing for a massive story accusing #Suns owner Robert Sarver of racism, sexism and sexual harassment in a series of incidents, sources say. With enough evidence to support such claims, there’s a real chance the league would forcibly remove Sarver."


In response, Sarver issued a statement saying, "I am wholly shocked by some of the allegations purported by ESPN... I can certainly tell you that some of the claims that I find completely repugnant to my nature or the character of the Suns/Mercury workplace, and I can tell you they never, ever happened."

"First and foremost, I reject any insinuation or personal or organizational racism or gender discrimination, I despise language that disrespects and individuals, regardless of race, gender preference or choice, " Sarver added later. "I don't begin to know how to prove that something DIDN'T happen  and it is difficult to erase or forget ugly allegations once they are made. Even hints of racism or sexism in our culture today are toxic and damaging and should not be lightly raised."  It was not known to what Sarver was indicating by his words because the report is yet to be published.

For their part, The Suns said in a separate statement that "(d)ocumentary evidence in our possession and eyewitness accounts directly contradict the reporter's accusations, and we are preparing our response to his questions. We urge everyone not to rush to judgment here. Especially based on lies, innuendo, and a false narrative to attack our organization and its leadership."

As the scandal unfolds, here's a look at Sarver's wife, who has been by the side of the businessman since 1996.

Who is Robert Sarver's wife?

In 1996, Sarver married Penny Sanders, who he met four years ago in Scottsdale, Arizona. We do know Sanders is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, and moved to Arizona after graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1990. She reportedly has a bachelor's degree in business, which led to her job at Prentice-Hall, marketing textbooks to universities in Pheonix. Reportedly, it was during this job that she first met her future husband. 

The details of how they met are not available as both keep a very low profile when it comes to their personal life. In fact, Sanders isn't available on social media at all, so there's very little we know about her. All the information that exists originally came from the Sarver Heart Centre website, which chronicles the Sarver family's life on a dedicated webpage. Beyond that, the only thing that is mentioned is that the couple has three sons. 

It's unclear if Sanders works anywhere now, she doesn't appear to have a Linkedin profile either. She has been spotted numerous times with her husband at Suns' games, but otherwise stays well away from the limelight. More information may come to light as Sarver goes under the scanner in the coming days, with his sexual harassment story considered to be quite big. It's unclear when ESPN will publish the story, and if the NBA will go through on its threat to force Sarver out. Only time will tell.