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Luol Deng has responded just how you’d expect him to after Atlanta Hawks’ general manager Danny Ferry’s racially charged comments about him, looking to draw a positive from the situation.
“I don’t think Danny’s racist,” Deng said to the Associated Press on the Miami Heat media day on Friday.
Deng was considering an offer from the Hawks this summer, before he signed with Miami. Shortly after Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson admitted to making some racist comments in an email in 2012, and then came the revelation that Ferry had said Deng “has a little African in him”
Ferry has claimed he was reading off a scouting report and that the comments did not reflect his personal beliefs.
“I think one of the hardest things to do as a human being, and it’s something we should do more often, is forgive,” Deng continued as he talked about the situation that has left Ferry on indefinite leave from the Hawks. “I really do forgive Danny. It’s not something I want to hold onto for the rest of my career or the rest of my life.
“I had a chance to speak to Danny. I really believe that he’s really sorry for what he said. Whether it came from him or wherever it came from, I think the main focus really should be how we move on forward.”
He finally added that he would like to work with Ferry with an organisation to help advocate change or bring more attention to racism.
“We could really turn this into a positive thing where people can benefit from,” Deng said to ESPN. “It’s something we’d like to start, working together with Danny and helping people back home in Africa or working with an organization. Just so that one day we could look back and say this happened and it was something negative, but look at how it turned around and how it became something positive.
“I’m not the type of person to hold on and be angry at somebody or be angry at Danny. I don’t think Danny is racist. I really don’t. I really don’t know Danny to describe him as a person. I just know who he is. That’s just what I believe in. I would like to put it behind me and just move forward. But I would really love if I could do something positive out of it.”
Image Credit: PBP Sports