Audio of the teleconference in which Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry referred to free agent target and eventual Miami Heat signee Luol Deng as having “some African in him” has surfaced.
The recording is courtesy of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and can be heard below. The comment in question is made at the 1:17 mark of the video.
The audio supports a story by Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski that disgruntled minority owner Michael Gearon originally set the chain of events in motion that eventually led to the discovery of Bruce Levenson’s bigoted e-mail. In addition to Ferry’s words on Deng, also audible are his thoughts on Carmelo Anthony and another man mentioning “Sterling” and “TMZ,” two anecdotes from Wojnarowski’s incendiary report.
Most pertinent here, though, is the conversational nature of Ferry’s voice. He and the Hawks have maintained from the beginning that he was reading from a prepared statement when making the offensive remark about Deng. This recording not only casts major doubt on their insistence, but paints Ferry’s words in an even harsher light than they’re seen on the surface.
Commissioner Adam Silver has previously said that he doesn’t believe Ferry’s comments are a fireable offense. Let’s just say we wouldn’t be shocked if Silver changes his mind after hearing this recording.
What do you think?
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