The Atlanta Hawks announced Friday that general manager Danny Ferry will take an indefinite leave of absence after audio surfaced of him reading racist remarks about Miami Heat forward Luol Deng from a scouting report in June.
Ferry released a statement expressing his apology to Deng and to anyone else he offended.
“Luol is a good man who I have known for many years, and he has done a tremendous amount of good for his country (of South Sudan) and around the world,” Ferry says. “I apologize to Luol, and I apologize to all that I have offended. As I have said, while these were not my words, I deeply regret repeating them. …
“My focus moving forward is to tirelessly work to rebuild trust with this community and with our fans. I realize that my words may ring hollow now, and my future actions must speak for me. I will maximize my time during this leave to meet with community leaders and further educate myself and others on the extremely sensitive issues surrounding race, diversity, and inclusion. I will find a way to make a positive difference in this area, and further learn from the sensitivity training that I will go through.”
Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said in a statement that Ferry asked to take the leave of absence.
The Hawks also are in the process of selling Bruce Levenson’s majority share of the team after he self-reported sending a racist and offensive email.
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