Atlanta Hawks General Manager Danny Ferry comes under The Microscope with racist remarks worse than Donald Sterling’s
|Atlanta Hawks General Manager Danny Ferry comes |
under The Microscope with racist remarks
Co-owner and CEO Steve Koonin will be disciplining general manager Danny Ferry for repeating an "offensive and racist remark" that was in a background report about a free agent. Ferry will still remain on as the general manager.
The fallout from racially charged comments by Atlanta Hawks leadership continued Atlanta media outlets obtained a letter Monday night from Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. which cites Ferry telling the ownership group that Deng "has a little African in him."
|I didn't say It!!!!!!!!! as always|
"Ferry completed the racial slur by describing the player [and impliedly all persons of African descent] as a two-faced liar and cheat."
In the letter, Gearon recommended that Ferry resign or be fired.
Gearon said he and the other co-owners "were appalled that anyone would make such a racist slur under any circumstance, much less the GM of an NBA franchise on a major conference call."
Gearon declined to comment when contacted by Atlanta Press on Tuesday, and Deng's agent, Ron Shade, could not be immediately reached.
"I repeated those comments during a telephone conversation reviewing the draft and free agency process. Those words do not reflect my views, or words that I would use to describe an individual and I certainly regret it. I apologize to those I offended and to Luol, who I reached out to Monday morning."
In his letter to Levenson, Gearon compared Ferry's remarks to comments made former Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was forced to sell the team this year after racist statements he made were disclosed.
"We believe these comments by Ferry were far worse than Sterling's because they were not from a private, personal conversation -- they were in a business environment on a business matter in front of a dozen or more people," Gearon wrote. "If Ferry would make such a slur in a semi-public forum, we can only imagine what he has said in smaller groups or to individuals."
Gearon also said in the letter that he wanted to point out Ferry's comments to Levenson because he wasn't sure Levenson was listening to the full conference call. Gearon said his belief, confirmed by his consultations with two attorneys, was the fallout from Ferry's comments could be "devastating."
Gearon warned Levenson he believed Ferry's comments "could be fatal to the franchise" if made public.
In his letter of apology, Ferry pledged he would learn from the incident.
"I am committed to learning from this and deeply regret this situation," Ferry said. "I fully understand we have work to do in order to help us create a better organization, one that our players and fans will be proud of, on and off the court, and that is where my focus is moving forward."