Sports

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Bruce Levenson Isn’t a Racist; He’s a Businessman

In this June 25, 2012, file photo, Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson introduces new Hawks president of operations and general manager Danny Ferry, right,  during a news conference in Atlanta. 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. Hawks spokesman Garin Narain said that team’s investigation of Ferry's comments uncovered the racially inflammatory email written by Levenson. That discovery led to Levenson’s announcement Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, that he will sell his controlling share of the team. (AP Photo/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Johnny Crawford)
In this June 25, 2012, file photo, Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson introduces new Hawks president of operations and general manager Danny Ferry, right, during a news conference in Atlanta. (AP Photo/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Johnny Crawford)

 

(TIME) – Sure, there are assumptions he makes that are cringeworthy—but the questions about how to attract more white fans were entirely reasonable.

Well, the pitchforks are already sharpened and the torches lit anyway, so rather than let them go to waste, why not drag another so-called racist before the court of public opinion and see how much ratings-grabbing, head-shaking and race-shaming we can squeeze out of it? After all, the media got so much gleeful, hand-wringing mileage out of Don Sterling and Michael Brown.

The only problem is that Atlanta Hawks controlling owner Bruce Levenson is no Donald Sterling. Nor is his email racist. In fact, his worst crime is misguided white guilt.

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