Danny Ferry Reportedly Said Luol Deng "Has a little African in him" and Implied He's Two-Faced

Danny Ferry Reportedly Said Luol Deng "Has a little African in him" and Implied He's Two-Faced

NBA

Danny Ferry Reportedly Said Luol Deng "Has a little African in him" and Implied He's Two-Faced

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Danny Ferry, the Atlanta Hawks’ general manager, made comments about Luol Deng that began the internal probe which led to the discovery of the racially offensive email from majority owner Bruce Levenson and his placing his interest up for sale. Earlier Monday, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on what Ferry said to incur the probe:

“He’s still a young guy overall,” Ferry said, league sources with direct knowledge of the probe told Yahoo. “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 was on the phone with seven Hawks owners and was reading off a report in which the information, Ferry said, had been gathered through a network of scouts, officials, players, coaches and others around basketball.

WSB-TV’s Zach Klein obtained a letter allegedly sent in June from Hawks minority owner Michael Gearon to Levenson demanding Ferry’s ouster, which included an expansion of the GM’s quote:

Gearon wrote the letter after Ferry, on a conference call with management and ownership, described free agent target Luol Deng “he has a little African in him, not in a bad way, but he’s a guy who would have a nice store out front, but sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back.”

The full text of Gearon’s letter can be read here; it does not specify whether Ferry was reading verbatim from a scouting report or voicing his own opinions. The letter cites fear in a post-Donald Sterling environment of ownership getting caught up in a tempest if Ferry’s remarks ever became public (this would prove to be prophetic, obviously), and that the team’s management became less racially diverse after Ferry became general manager.

Related: Atlanta Hawks Owner Puts Team For Sale After Self-Reporting Racially Offensive Email

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