Report: Danny Ferry Was Not Reading From A Report When He Used Racially Insensitive Words, And More Details About The Scandal


May 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry introduces Mike Budenholzer as the new head coach during a press conference at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Just when this scandal seemingly couldn’t get worse, a new report has surfaced that contradicts that line of thinking.

On Tuesday, news released that Hawks GM Danny Ferry had used racially insensitive remarks when talking about Luol Deng and his potential to join the team. Ferry used the term “has a little African in him” and also referenced that you couldn’t trust his way of thinking.

Ferry released a statement about the situation as well:

"“In regards to the insensitive remarks that were used during our due diligence process, I was repeating comments that were gathered from numerous sources during background conversations and scouting about different players.   I repeated those comments during a telephone conversation reviewing the draft and free agency process.  Those words do not reflect my views, or words that I would use to describe an individual and I certainly regret it. I apologize to those I offended and to Luol, who I reached out to Monday morning.In terms of the email that Bruce sent, the situation is disturbing and disappointing on many levels and I understand Bruce’s words were offensive.I am committed to learning from this and deeply regret this situation. I fully understand we have work to do in order to help us create a better organization; one that our players and fans will be proud of, on and off the court, and that is where my focus is moving forward.”"

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said Ferry would be internally disciplined, but nothing further.

Although he would likely end up losing his job, Ferry had an argument that he simply was reading someone else’s writing, and didn’t use good judgement and filter it.

Now, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, he may not have that to fall back on:

"Once he started talking on the call about Deng, it wasn’t long before Ferry marched himself directly into a foolish, ignorant riff of African stereotypes. On and on, Ferry started about how Deng “has got some African in him” and proceeded to make a comparison to Africans with phony facades selling counterfeit goods.As soon as those words left Ferry’s mouth on the call, Gearon responded in a dramatic way in the background of the tape recording, according to a partial transcript of the call obtained by Yahoo Sports.“Oh my God, that comment sounds like Sterling on TMZ,” Gearon said.Gearon didn’t stop Ferry. He let him keep talking. In the transcript, Ferry detailed the information he’d gathered on Deng. Ferry attributes those characterizations – and inappropriate phrasing – to outside sources.On Deng, Ferry said: “… For example, he can come out and be an unnamed source for a story and two days later come out and say, ‘That absolutely was not me. I can’t believe someone said that.’“But talking to reporters, you know they can [believe it].”Ferry kept going on Deng: “… Good guy in Chicago. They will tell you he was good for their culture, but not a culture setter. He played hard and all those things, but he was very worried about his bobble-head being the last one given away that year, or there was not enough stuff of him in the [team] store … kind of a complex guy.”Ferry’s clinging to the story that the racially charged words belonged to someone else – that a riff connecting Africans to a con man stereotype weren’t his words at all. In context of the transcripts, it appears that those had been Ferry’s own interjections on the call, somehow supporting the intel culled outside of the Hawks."

Woj — who is the standard in NBA reporting — doesn’t say for certain whether those words were Ferry’s, but does say the transcript of the call made it seem that way. If this is true, things just got a whole lot worse for Ferry and the Hawks.

The report goes on to state that minority owner Michael Gearon Jr. is unhappy with Ferry, and this whole thing was just good timing to get rid of him. It wasn’t for racial justice.

This thing is far from over, and it is likely to get worse. Everyone involved is likely to lose their job.

Stay tuned to SDS for all the latest.

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