Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry made a mistake when he made racial comments about Miami Heat forward Luol Deng, but called Ferry a man of "high character."
Kerr and Ferry were teammates for five seasons, three with the Cleveland Cavaliers and two with the San Antonio Spurs.
Ferry said Deng has "got some African in him" while on a conference call in June with the Hawks ownership discussing free agency. "He's like a guy who would have a nice store out front and sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back," Ferry said on the recorded call.
Ferry took an indefinite leave of absence from the team last week and said he plans to undergo sensitivity training and meet with local leaders.
“He’s a man of high character, I can tell you that,” Kerr said, according to the Bay Area News Group. “And I feel for him. He did make a mistake. It was a very poor choice of expression. It’s a difficult issue, but it’s one that needs to be discussed.”
Kerry said that everyone knows that Ferry is a good person.
“And it’s just a difficult time for him, and he made a mistake, so hopefully he can get through it. But he’s got our support. It’s about all you can do,” Kerr said.
- Scooby Axson