An off-the-cuff remark with racial undertones made by Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry led to majority team owner Bruce Levenson being forced to sell his stake in the franchise.
This past June, Ferry was reading a scouting report on then-free agent forward Luol Deng, and reportedly said Deng (who was born in Sudan) has “got some African in him”.
The Hawks will punish Ferry for the offending comment.
“He’s still a young guy overall,” Ferry said, league sources with direct knowledge of the probe said. “He’s a good guy overall. But he’s not perfect. He’s got some African in him. And I don’t say that in a bad way.”
Ferry reached out to Deng and Deng’s agent, Ron Shade, on Monday, Shade said. Ferry hadn’t yet spoken to Deng, but he did talk to Shade, a Chicago-based agent. “I have no reaction, but we’ve spoken,” Shade said.
Ferry was on the phone with seven Hawks owners and was reading off a report prepared for him based upon a network of information sources from around the league. […] Commissioner Adam Silver met with a senior committee of owners late last week in New York, and NBA investigators outlined the findings on the probe in Atlanta, sources said. The NBA and Hawks officials helped convince Levenson to sell his majority share of the Hawks.