Hawks general manager Danny Ferry repeated some racially insensitive comments that appeared in a scouting report of Luol Deng while on a conference call with ownership, and understandably, that his put his future status with the team in question.
One of the co-owners of the Hawks called for Ferry’s resignation at the time (the key portions of the letter he sent can be seen here), and in light of the team’s controlling owner Bruce Levenson making racist comments of his own which resulted in him being forced to sell the team, it’s hard to imagine him changing his position.
The league reportedly isn’t planning any punishment, although that could change — and honestly, it should.
For now, Ferry did what was expected, and released a statement explaining his side of things, while apologizing at the same time.
“In regards to the insensitive remarks that were used during our due diligence process, I was repeating comments that were gathered from numerous sources during background conversations and scouting about different players,” Ferry said, via the team’s official release. “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 terms of the email that Bruce sent, the situation is disturbing and disappointing on many levels and I understand Bruce’s words were offensive.
“I am committed to learning from this and deeply regret this situation. 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.”
It’s honestly unfathomable that Ferry would repeat the offensive language, unless it was prefaced by saying something to the effect of, “Whoa, check out what this racist scout put in this report.” But obviously, given the co-owner’s reaction and his call for Ferry to be fired, that wasn’t how this took place.
Ferry has no immediate plans to step down, but it’s hard to envision him being allowed to continue with the team now that all of the details have been brought out.