Separate investigations into his alleged workplace misconduct confirmed that robert sarver repeated the n-word on multiple occasions. During his time with the Phoenix Suns, though, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr maintains he never saw any behavior from the disgraced owner that could he construed as racist. 

Doubling down on his statement to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes in November of last year, Kerr said on Wednesday he wasn’t privy to “anything that suggested racism” in Sarver’s conduct.

“I stand by what I said because that was my experience – I wouldn’t make that up,” he told Alex Simon of Bay Area News Group. “What I witnessed was a guy who was, at times, inappropriate and whose sense of humor was sometimes over the top, but never anything that suggested racism.”

Kerr also confirmed the findings of ESPN’s initial reporting and the NBA’s subsequent outside investigation that Sarver engaged in inappropriate behavior. Like the report from law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz, though, he allowed for the possibility that Sarver’s conduct didn’t stem from any real bias he holds toward women or people of color.

“There’s no doubt that that was part of the experience there,” Kerr said of Sarver’s “sophomoric sense of humor,” as written in the law firm’s report. “At that point, it’s up to anybody to judge what’s inappropriate and what goes beyond inappropriate, and however you want to assess that is up to the individual.

“Frankly, most of the people that I have stayed in touch with and I speak with do not feel Robert displayed racism when we were there together,” he continued. “It was mostly inappropriate humor, and that inappropriate stuff can be interpreted in any number of ways and obviously, this is all coming back to haunt him.”

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Kerr was involved in Sarver’s purchase of the Suns from Jerry Colangelo in 2004, joining the team as a consultant. He was named Phoenix’s general manager three years later, a position he held until resigning following the 2009-10 season. Kerr replaced Mark Jackson as head coach of the Warriors before the 2014-15 season.

In November, Kerr denied to ESPN that he saw Sarver act in a racist or misogynistic manner during his Suns tenure, going so far as to say he was “surprised” such accusations were levied against the real estate magnate.

“I never saw anything that suggested racism or misogyny, and I was very surprised to hear those allegations because that’s not the person that I know,” Kerr said.

Sarver was banned from the NBA and WNBA for one year and fined $10 million last week after the league released findings of its third-party probe. In a statement released on Wednesday in which he derided “our current unforgiving climate,” Sarver announced plans to sell both the Suns and Phoenix Mercury, news met with cheer across the basketball landscape.

[Alex Simon, Bay Area News Group]