Report: Luol Deng’s scouting report contained African comment Danny Ferry said

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Danny Ferry said of Luol Deng, “He’s a good guy overall, but he’s got some African in him, and I don’t say that in a bad way other than he’s a guy that may be making side deals behind you, if that makes sense. He has a storefront out front that’s beautiful and great, but he may be selling some counterfeit stuff behind you.”

That’s undisputed. You can hear Ferry say it here.

But the Hawks general has defended himself by claiming he was merely reading a scouting report written by someone else.

Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says he’s obtained that scouting report:

Part of the five-page report, with portions redacted, contains separate sections of different personnel. The one in question reads: “He is a good guy on the cover but he is an African. He has a little two-step in him = says what you want to hear but behind closed doors he could be killing you.

Ferry – or one of his supporters, including NBA commissioner Adam Silver – had incentive to leak this.I’m interested to know how Vivlamore verified the scouting report he received. It would not be difficult to edit in the African comment after the fact.

However, even if Ferry’s excuse is totally true, it’s only a mitigating factor. His job is to filter these scouting reports, and he didn’t find the word “African” worth filtering in this context. And it’s not as if he were reading verbatim, anyway.

“Two-step”? Never heard that repeated.

“Closed doors”? Another phrase not used.

“African”? A perfectly suitable description for someone two-faced, apparently according to Ferry.

Ferry is relying on a defense that makes him not racist, just failing at his job in this moment. Neither is a good look for someone trying to keep his position.