clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hawks issues with racism linked to Luol Deng

In the fallout of alleged racist remarks made by Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson, ESPN has uncovered that investigations into these comments were sparked by a scouting report on new Miami Heat player Luol Deng

Kevin C. Cox

It was originally reported that Hawks owner Bruce Levenson had admitted to his own racist comments from an email exchange with Atlanta general manager Danny Ferry. The email, which you can read here, details Levenson's opinions on the Hawks fanbase.

As a result of the disturbing content of the email message, Levenson had indicated that he would sell his portion of the team.

However, ESPN is now reporting that the message only came to light as a result of an investigation that began three months ago. The investigation began after racist comments were included in a scouting report on Luol Deng.

As per ESPN, "the Hawks held a meeting in early June to discuss potential free-agent targets...Ferry cited a background report that included an "offensive and racist" remark about a player."

ESPN's Marc Stein has confirmed that the player in question is Deng (via Twitter):

Deng has not provided a comment at this time.

The NBA has been very proactive in eliminating Donald Sterling's overt racism from the ranks of its various owners. With Levenson reportedly set to sell his portion of the team, it is unclear if any further action will be taken.

Stay tuned as more details on this story continue to break.

UPDATE: 12:50 P.M.

According to this report from Yahoo! Sports, the report on Deng included the following comments by Ferry:

"He's still a young guy overall. 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."

It's difficult to see exactly what Ferry's intentions were in bringing up Deng's heritage but it's clear that this issue will require some punishment handed down by the NBA.

According to the report, Ferry did meet with Atlanta's players and coaches and "disclosed those comments with an apology."