Audio released of Atlanta Hawks' Danny Ferry's racist remark about Luol Deng

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Audio footage has now been released in which Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry can clearly be heard describing British NBA star Luol Deng as having 'a little bit of African in him'.

The Hawks GM insisted this week that he was reading from a scout report when he made the highly controversial comments about Deng during a conference call with other Atlanta high brass earlier this year.

The audio however casts doubts over these claims however.

You can hear it in full via this link.

"He's a good guy overall, but he's not perfect," explains Ferry at one point during the two-minute long clip.

"He's got some African in him. And I don't say that in a bad way, other than..."

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Hawks controversy

Others on the call can be heard laughing at the remark before ownership cuts Ferry shot mid-sentence, making a direct reference to the Donald Sterling race scandal that has also enveloped the NBA in 2014:

"That comment was Sterling. That's going to be on TMZ tomorrow," can be heard.

The 'little bit of African in him' comment is then substantiated in Ferry's eyes at least by another less than flattering comment later in the audio:

""He has a store front out front that's beautiful and great, but he may be selling some counterfeit stuff behind you. And when I say that, I mean for example he can come out and be an unnamed source for a story, and two days later come out and say that was absolutely not me, I can't believe someone said that.

"He could be the lawyer in the locker room when the coach is not around, but when the coach is around he's the greatest guy in the world."

Under investigation

The emergence of Ferry's comments came after the NBA had been investigation the Atlanta franchise over a three month period - and his Deng statement is not the only disturbing thing to have been discovered.

News that Hawks owner Bruce Levenson had self-reported a 2012 email in which he made several disparaging comments regarding the African-American fan base came just a few days before the Deng scout report was made public.

NBA response

Adam Silver had earlier this week maintained that Ferry should not be fired from his role with the franchise based on the comments made.

And now, with the audio in the public sphere, the NBA commissioner has reportedly reiterated this stance. He did however condemn the call, describing it as "inappropriate and unacceptable."

Luol Deng for his part displayed incredible poise and class with his own response to the remarks, posting an open letter in which he expressed immense pride at having "a lot of African in him."

It is just a shame that some who hold positions of power at NBA teams across the league seem incapable of acting in the same manner at present.

Luol Deng
Miami Heat
Atlanta Hawks

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