Miami Heat’s Luol Deng Responds To ‘Little African’ Comments from Hawks Manager

F2FA September 11, 2014

Luol Deng
After hearing the controversial statements about his heritage by Atlanta Hawks Manager Danny Ferry, South Sudanese Miami Heat basketball player Luol Deng has publicly responded, saying among other remarks, “I actually have a lot of African in me, not just ‘a little,'” reports BBC Sport.

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While Ferry allegedly made the statement — along with other comments — that Deng has “a little African in him,” Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. reportedly caught the statements on tape. He then presented the quotes in a letter to Majority Owner Bruce Levenson, calling for his resignation.

Once Ferry’s alleged comments became public, 29-year-old Deng, whose family fled South Sudan for Egypt during the Sudanese civil war and then was granted asylum in the U.K., defended his heritage, saying, “For my entire life, my identity has been a source of pride and strength,” he said.

“Among my family and friends, in my country of South Sudan and across the broader continent of Africa, I can do 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.”

Ferry, telling the press he attempted to reach out to Deng, who used to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, on Monday, disowned the statements he made, saying he was simply repeating the descriptions he had heard about the player in “background conversations.”

“In regards to the insensitive remarks that were used during our due diligence process, I was repeating comments that were gathered from numerous sources during background conversations and scouting about different players,” he said in a statement.

“Those words do not reflect my views, or words that I would use to describe an individual and I certainly regret it.”

Ferry says he has no intentions of resigning.

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Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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