NBA scouts, executives say racial remarks in scouting reports ‘unusual’ and ‘exceptionally rare’

Paul Millsap, Danny Ferry

It would seem obvious that scouting reports of NBA players delivered to front office executives would be devoid of any racially insensitive remarks, but in light of the situation with Hawks GM Danny Ferry, it appears as though a survey was needed.

Sam Amick of USA Today reached out to some executives and scouts, and they confirmed what we all assumed to be the case — that comments like the one Ferry says he repeated are simply nonexistent in these types of documents.

Front-office executive:

“When you go to games, you talk to coaches and write down what they say to you. It is unusual for them to say something racist, but not (unusual) that (a player) is a con-man and so forth. That would be unusual for someone to say something racist, like, ‘He has African in him,’ would be unusual.”


“I think a racially tinged report, as Ferry evidently read, is exceptionally rare. I personally have never read one (and would never write such garbage). I think you do hear (rather than read) from time to time about the age factor with African-born players, that scouts/GMs/personnel people think they are actually older than their stated age, etc. Is that notion about age racist? I don’t think so, though there is an element of stereotyping going on. But there’s also probably some truth to it.

It’s a small sampling, but it validates what would be expected when pursuing this line of questioning.

Ferry’s comments were obviously unacceptable, and even more so when listening to the casual way with which he delivers the racially insensitive remarks. These types of statements are far from the norm around the league, and even if Ferry is to be believed when he said he was repeating comments gathered from multiple sources, his decision to do so shows a lack of awareness that should really cost him his job.