Hawks GM Danny Ferry likely to be fired over reciting racist scouting report
A few days ago we learned that the Atlanta Hawks majority owner was selling the team over an email he sent a couple years ago lamenting the lack of white fans at Hawks games. Though Bruce Levenson would later apologize for his offensive email, at least he could be defended for business purposes. If the Hawks continue to bring up the rear in attendance whether they make the playoffs or not, and they draw the fewest white fans in the league, it could be argued that trying to improve that demographic's attendance made solid business sense. Danny Ferry on the other hand really has no out.
At best, Ferry could continue with the Ron Burgundy "He just reads whatever is on the teleprompter" defense. But even if that was the case and none of the offensive comments toward Luol Deng were his own, he sill comes off as grossly incompetent. Reality is Danny Ferry is getting fired. Could be this week, could be this month, or could be when new ownership takes over the Hawks, but Ferry's days are numbered.
Ferry reading a scouting report on Deng:
"He has a little African in him. Not in a bad way, but he's a guy who would have a nice store out front, but sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back."
Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry should step down after making racist statements about NBA player Luol Deng.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 9, 2014
It's worth noting that the white, minority owner of the Hawks who ended up being the whistle blower, Michael Gearon, had been losing a power struggle within the Hawks organization to Levenson and Ferry. That said, whether Gearon had ulterior motives for bringing down the two doesn't really matter. Ferry is an idiot for using "African" as a negative in describing Deng. One of his criticisms of Deng was that he believed Deng would act as an unnamed source for airing locker room drama, but then deny he was the source two days later. If Ferry wanted to criticize Deng and just said he has a little bit of "two face" in him, that would have been one thing. The whole Africans selling counterfeit items comparison was so out there and dumb. Ferry has since apologized publicly saying, "I am committed to learning from this and deeply regret this situation." I don't think he survives this. Ferry is gone.
What are your thoughts? Should Ferry be fired or should he get a second shot?
UPDATE: 9/12/14 7:10PM
Ferry is taking an indefinite leave of absence via ESPN:
Hawks CEO Steve Koonin has resisted calls for Ferry to be dismissed, but said the 47-year-old GM asked for the leave.
"My hope that this time away from the Hawks organization allows him the privacy he needs to listen to the community, to learn about his mistakes, and to begin the long process of personal healing," Koonin said in a statement.
Ferry issued his own statement, saying he plans to undergo sensitivity training and meet with local leaders. He gave no indication that he plans to step down.
"My focus moving forward is to tirelessly work to rebuild trust with this community and with our fans," he said.