Luol Deng Comments on Hawks, Danny Ferry Email Controversy

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIISeptember 9, 2014

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In response to disparaging remarks made by Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry, Miami Heat star Luol Deng expressed disappointment in what was said—and gratitude for the situation he landed in.   

Bleacher Report's Ethan J. Skolnick had Deng's detailed reply to address what Ferry had said:

Ethan J. Skolnick @EthanJSkolnick

Complete Luol Deng statement http://t.co/FojbVFGRO5

Deng took the high road and was prideful in his background, and he made it known he wasn't pleased with Ferry's choice of words.

Ferry attempted to explain himself earlier on Tuesday, via CBSSports.com's Zach Harper:

Zach Harper @talkhoops

Danny Ferry's statement http://t.co/DRselHRtBu

Regardless of what you think of Ferry's justification, there is no shortage of backlash from this controversy. Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson was appalled by Ferry's comments and gave his opinion:

Earvin Magic Johnson @MagicJohnson

Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry should step down after making racist statements about NBA player Luol Deng.

CBS Sports' Doug Gottlieb recorded an alternative take on the situation from someone who used to work with Ferry:

Doug Gottlieb @GottliebShow

Text from an African American former employee under Danny Ferry “He is getting a raw deal,he is a great guy,not close to being a racist"

Co-owner Bruce Levenson is putting the Hawks up for sale after an email he exchanged with Ferry surfaced, in which Levenson used racist language.

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As reported by Zach Klein of WSB-TV 2 in Atlanta, the franchise's minority owner, Michael Gearon Jr., emailed Levenson on June 12. In that email, Gearon called for Ferry to be fired, citing Ferry's derogatory testimony about Deng that he read off a scouting report during a conference call.

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 29: General Manager Danny Ferry speaks during the press conference introducing Mike Budenholzer as the new Head Coach of the Atlanta Hawks during a press conference on May 29, 2013 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: Use
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There is a lot of information to sift through amid this unfortunate saga. The important takeaways are that Deng showed class and chose to address the issue rather than ignore it. Hawks CEO Steve Koonin has punished Ferry for his actions, according to The Associated Press' Charles Odum.

The terms of the disciplinary action aren't yet disclosed, but Koonin will retain Ferry as GM.

Regardless of whether Ferry read the information about Deng on a scouting report or not, uttering the words he did will leave a mark on his legacy forever. Atlanta is still not quite a true contender in the Eastern Conference, and missing out on Deng, in addition to the comments that surfaced about him, could hurt the organization when trying to land free agents in the future.

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