Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ferry Said on a Call That Luol Deng ‘Has Some African in Him’
According to USA Today, during a Hawks conference call to formulate a strategy for the free-agent signing period, Ferry, reading from a player profile compiled from notes from scouts, said Deng “is still a young guy overall. He is a good guy overall. But he is not perfect. He’s got some African in him and I don’t say that in a bad way.”
2. Hawks Co-Owner Michael Gearon Wanted Ferry to be Ousted
Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon wanted Danny Ferry gone for Luol Deng comments: http://t.co/5l4OiCm9Ty
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) September 9, 2014
In a letter to Levenson dated June 12, Gearon said Ferry’s comments were worse than those made by embattled former Clippers owner Donald Sterling and demanded that he be fired or asked to resign.
We are appalled that anyone would make such a racist slur under any circumstance, much less the GM of an NBA franchise on a major conference call. One of us can be heard on the tape reacting with astonishment. Our franchise has had a long history of racial diversity and inclusion that reflect the makeup of our great city. Ferry’s comments were so far out of bounds that we are concerned that he has put the entire franchise in jeopardy.
3. Deng is Originally From Sudan
Deng was born in Sudan in 1985 but moved with his family to Egypt to escape the Second Sudanese Civil War. Deng emigrated to become a citizen of England and later came to the United States to play basketball at Blair Academy in New Jersey.
He is a two-time All Star who played for the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He did not sign with the Hawks, opting instead to play for the Miami Heat this summer. He is universally known as one of the NBA’s hardest working players.
4. Ferry Was Disciplined by the Team, But the Exact Punishment is Unknown
Atlanta Hawks discipline GM Danny Ferry for racially charged comments http://t.co/wn7Ynf2yR2
— HuffPost Sports (@HuffPostSports) September 9, 2014
Hawks CEO Steve Koonin levied an undisclosed disciplinary action on Ferry for the comments. Reaction to what he said was mixed, ranging from outrage to some questioning why he was disciplined in the first place because the comments were not actually Ferry’s — he was reading the comments from a report.
Unless I'm mistaken, Danny Ferry's being asked to resign b/c he read an unedited scouting report? SMH
— Jake Walker (@Jake_W) September 9, 2014
5. Danny Ferry and Luol Deng Both Played at Duke
Deng played one season at Duke, starting 32 of 37 games and helping the Blue Devils reach the 2004 Final Four. He was drafted by the Bulls following that season.
Ferry was an All-American and two-time ACC Player of the Year while he played for Duke from 1985–1989. He was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers with the No. 2 pick of the 1989 NBA Draft.