Sports

Hawks Co-Owner Michael Gearon Wanted Danny Ferry Gone for Luol Deng Comments

FILE - In this June 25, 2012, file photo, Atlanta Hawks president of operations and general manager Danny Ferry speaks during a news conference in Atlanta, as team co-owner Bruce Levenson, right, looks on. Ferry has been disciplined by CEO Steve Koonin for making racially charged comments about Luol Deng when the team pursued the free agent this year. Ferry apologized Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014,  for “repeating comments that were gathered from numerous sources” about Deng.  (AP Photo/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Johnny Crawford)
In this June 25, 2012, file photo, Atlanta Hawks president of operations and general manager Danny Ferry speaks during a news conference in Atlanta, as team co-owner Bruce Levenson, right, looks on. Ferry has been disciplined by CEO Steve Koonin for making racially charged comments about Luol Deng when the team pursued the free agent this year. Ferry apologized Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, for “repeating comments that were gathered from numerous sources” about Deng. (AP Photo/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Johnny Crawford)

 

(USA Today) – Atlanta Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon wanted Hawks controlling owner Bruce Levenson to either ask for general manager Danny Ferry’s resignation or fire him after Ferry made racially insensitive comments about Luol Deng on a free agency conference call in June.

Gearon sent the letter to Levenson on June 12, and the letter was obtained by Atlanta TV station WSB and posted on its website Monday. Fox 5 in Atlanta was the first to report on the letter. Two people familiar with letter confirmed its authenticity to USA TODAY Sports. They requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation.

In the letter, Gearon wrote that Ferry’s comments were worse than ex-Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racially charged comments.

“They were not from a private conversation — they were in a business environment on a business matter in front of a dozen or more people,” Gearon wrote. “If Ferry would make such a slur in a semi-public forum, we can only imagine what he has said in smaller groups or to individuals.”

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