“Just had a heart to heart meeting w/ Hawks GM Danny Ferry!” Johnson tweeted. “He apologized for his comments about Luol Deng & the African American community.
“In our meeting Danny Ferry’s apology was very sincere,” the five-time NBA champion and Hall of Famer continued. “I have a lot of respect for Danny because he called and wanted to talk about how his comments offended so many people. After our long meeting, I think he deserves a second chance whether it is with the Hawks or another team.”
Johnson’s statements are a definite co-sign for Ferry, who is on an indefinite leave of absence from the Hawks after his comments about then-free agent Luol Deng were made public earlier this month.
"He's still a young guy overall," Ferry said of Deng on a team conference call earlier this offseason, according to Yahoo Sports. “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."
Ferry’s controversial comments were made public days after Bruce Levenson announced that a racially insensitive email he sent in August 2012 triggered the Hawks owner into selling his controlling interest of the franchise.
"My theory is that the Black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent Black fans to build a significant season ticket base," Levenson said in the email released Sunday by the Hawks. "Please don't get me wrong. There was nothing threatening going on in the arena back then. I never felt uncomfortable, but I think Southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority."
NBA commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN that the league was investigating the Hawks when Levenson announced he was selling his share of the team earlier this month, and that they reserve the right to conduct further investigation if need be. Johnson also tweeted Tuesday, imploring Hawks CEO Steve Koonin to hire Dominique Wilkins as a "high level executive."
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(Photos from left: Jerod Harris/Getty Images for SportsNet LA, AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
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