The apology was signed by CEO Steve Koonin. It came a day after
the Hawks announced that general manager Danny Ferry was taking an
indefinite leave of absence for his racially-insensitive remarks
about forward Luol Deng.
A week ago, co-owner Bruce Levenson announced he would sell his
controlling share of the team after voluntarily reporting to the NBA
that he made racist remarks in an email about fans.
"We are very sorry," Koonin wrote. "Over the course of the last
week, the Hawks have let down our players, our employees, our fans
and the city we love. Our shortcomings have been broadly shared -
including how we have failed to operate well internally and
externally. It has been humbling and, while we have read, seen and
come to know many things about ourselves, our learnings have just
Ferry said that Deng, who is from South Sudan, "has a little African
in him," during a recorded conference call with the team's ownership
in June. "He's like a guy who would have a nice store out front and
sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back."
An internal investigation of the comments uncovered the email sent
by Levenson in 2012. In the email, Levenson wrote that "the black
crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough
affluent black fans to build a significant season ticket base."
- - -
Team USA forward Rudy Gay told USA Today that the broken jaw he
sustained in Thursday's win over Lithuania in the FIBA World Cup in
Spain came on a "dirty play."
The Sacramento Kings player is part of a U.S. squad that will play
in the gold medal game against Serbia.
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"I've got a fracture in my jaw, a broken tooth and am going to
probably need a root canal," Gay said. "The top is where I got hit.
It's painful. It's uncomfortable, and it still bleeds, so I've got
to continuously gargle."
- - -
The Los Angeles Clippers announced Friday that they re-signed
veteran forward Hedo Turkoglu.
Turkoglu signed a one-year veteran's minimum deal, which placed the
Clippers' roster at 14 players with guaranteed contracts for this
Turkoglu, 35, averaged 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.3 minutes
over 38 games last season for the Clippers. (Editing by Gene Cherry)
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