The Atlanta Hawks’ general manager, Danny Ferry, is involved in a race row after allegedly saying that GB star Luol Deng “had some African in him” during an organisational conference call.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Ferry made the comment whilst on the call in June, during which owners were being informed of potential free agents the Hawks could chase this summer.

He’s alleged to have said: “He’s still a young guy overall. He’s a good guy overall. But he’s not perfect. He’s got some African in him. And I don’t say that in a bad way.”

And the good way would be?

The revelation comes just one day after the Hawks’ owner, Bruce Levenson, agreed to sell the team after self-reporting his own racial comments in a 2012 email.

Indeed, it was the disparaging racial reference made by Ferry that triggered at least one team owner on the call to pursue an independent investigation into how the organisation operated in regard to race. The search uncovered the email that Levenson sent to Ferry and two minority owners that ultimately led to his downfall.

This is the second time a story involving race and an NBA owner has troubled the league this summer, after controversial comments made in a phone call by the Los Angeles Clippers’ Donald Sterling ended with him being forced to sell the franchise.

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin has told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Ferry has received an undisclosed punishment, but will remain as GM.

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