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Civil rights leader says Hawks should reinstate Danny Ferry

Civil rights leader Andrew Young told WSB-TV that the Hawks should reinstate general manager Danny Ferry. Ferry took an indefinite leave of absence in September after comments he made about Luol Deng were made public.

Civil rights leader Andrew Young told WSB-TV that the Hawks should reinstate general manager Danny Ferry, ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz reports.

Ferry took an indefinite leave of absence in September after comments he made about Luol Deng were made public. During a conference call discussing free agency, Ferry said Deng "has some African in him." Ferry claimed he was reading comments from a scouting report.

Head coach Mike Budenholzer and assistant general manager Wes Wilcox have led the front office during Ferry's absence.

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Young, the former mayor of Atlanta, said Ferry should be allowed to return to his job because he doesn't think Ferry is a racist.

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"No more than I am," Young told the Atlanta station. "That's a word that you cannot define, 'You are a racist.' You can't grow up white in America without having some problems. You can't grow up black in America without having some subtle feelings."

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Ferry was not the only member of the Hawks to make headlines for racially charged remarks. Hawks owner Bruce Levenson admitted to sending an email in 2012 that suggested black fans were driving white fans away from Hawks games. Levenson announced he would sell the team, which is currently on the market.

The Hawks are the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 43-11 record.

- Paul Palladino