Luol Deng has released a statement in response to Danny Ferry’s reported racist comments towards him in a scouting report.
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Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry found himself in hot water on Monday after reports surfaced he made racist comments about Luol Deng in a scouting report two years ago.
Ferry reportedly read aloud a scouting report which mentioned that Deng “had a little African in him” and is the kind of person who “would have a nice store out front but sell your counterfeit stuff out of the back.”
Deng released a classy statement on Tuesday, where he said he was “saddened and disappointed” with Ferry’s remarks.
Below is the Deng’s statement in full, via the Sun-Sentinal
“These words were recently used to describe me. It would ordinarily make any African parent proud to hear their child recognized for their heritage.
“I’m proud to say I actually have a lot of African in me, not just “a little”. For my entire life, my identity has been a source of pride and strength. Among my family and friends, in my country of South Sudan and across the broader continent of Africa, I can think of no greater privilege than to do what I love for a living while also representing my heritage on the highest stage. Unfortunately, the comment about my heritage was not made with the same respect and appreciation.
“Concerning my free agency, the focus should purely have been on my professionalism and my ability as an athlete. Every person should have the right to be treated with respect and evaluated as an individual, rather than be reduced to a stereotype. I am saddened and disappointed that this way of thinking still exists today. I am even more disturbed that it was shared so freely in a business setting.
“However, there is comfort in knowing that there are people who aren’t comfortable with it and have the courage to speak up. In the same way a generalization should not define a group of people, the attitude of a few should not define a whole organization or league.
“Ultimately, I’m thankful to be with an organization that appreciates me for who I am and has gone out of its way to make me feel welcome.”