Luol Deng Releases Statement On Danny Ferry


The Atlanta Hawks controversy continues to develop as new news and opinions  have been released hourly since the story first broke. Everyone seems to be taking a stab on the Atlanta Hawks’ situation involving Bruce Levenson and Danny Ferry.

Now, the Miami Heat’s Luol Deng has come out with his statement on the situation and the derogatory comments that were said about him by Atlanta Hawks General Manager Danny Ferry:

"“HE HAS A LITTLE AFRICAN IN HIM”These words were recently used to describe me.  It would ordinarily make any African parent proud to hear their child recognized for their heritage.I’m proud to say I actually have a lot of African in me, not just “a little”. For my entire life, my identity has been a source of pride and strength. Among my family and friends, in my country of South Sudan and across the broader continent of Africa, I can think of no greater privilege than to do what I love for a living while also representing my heritage on the highest stage. Unfortunately, the comment about my heritage was not made with the same respect and appreciation.  Concerning my free agency, the focus should purely have been on my professionalism and my ability as an athlete. Every person should have the right to be treated with respect and evaluated as an individual, rather than be reduced to a stereotype. I am saddened and disappointed that this way of thinking still exists today. I am even more disturbed that it was shared so freely in a business setting. However, there is comfort in knowing that there are people who aren’t comfortable with it and have the courage to speak up. In the same way a generalization should not define a group of people, the attitude of a few should not define a whole organization or league. Ultimately, I’m thankful to be with an organization that appreciates me for who I am and has gone out of its way to make me feel welcome."

Luol Deng’s statement is a powerful one. Deng’s statement further exemplifies what people in NBA circles already think about the two-time All-Star, which is that Luol Deng is a well-respected player.

Danny Ferry released his own statement earlier today in regards to the offensive remarks he made about Luol Deng. While fans know majority Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson has decided to sell his shares in the team, there is still uncertainty about Danny Ferry.

According to Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and the NBA, Ferry will be disciplined by the team although he will not have to resign, at least not yet.

Many are calling for Danny Ferry’s resignation, however, including Atlanta Hawks minority owner Michael Gearon Jr.

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Danny Ferry does have his supporters though. Wayne Embry, who was the NBA’s first African-American general manager with the Milwaukee Bucks, and player agent Bill Duffy, who represents clients such as Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, and Joakim Noah, have expressed their support for Ferry saying that he is respectful and not a racist.

His support from NBA figures and his excellent work in the Atlanta Hawks organization might not be able to save him though. The public outcry following Ferry’s comments about Luol Deng seem as though they will lead to Danny Ferry’s ultimate demise.

Stay tuned to Soaring Down South for updates on this ever developing story!.

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