Danny Ferry is still employed as the general manager of the Atlanta Hawks (at least for now), and while much of the reaction to that revelation from CEO Steve Koonin was on the negative side, Ferry has garnered support from multiple people that could be considered prominent in NBA circles.In a report from Brian Windhorst of ESPN, both former NBA GM Wayne Embry and current NBA agent Bill Duffy were quoted in defense of Ferry's character, and here is what they had to say:
Embry (who was the NBA's first African-American general manager):
"I've observed Danny Ferry and his family for many years and I can say Danny Ferry is not a racist. I don't know all the circumstances, but in the capacity of a president or general manager, you have to do your due diligence on players. It is a responsible way to act."
"I know Danny very well and we've always had high-quality interactions. He's been involved in pro basketball his entire life and I've been shown nothing but respect in my dealings with him. He's always been of good character and I have admired him over the years."
While both Ferry and Luol Deng, who Ferry reportedly read comments about during the free agent process, have released statements, there remains a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the proceedings. The support of Ferry is not terribly surprising in some circles, as this is the first public blip on his record in this fashion, but at the same time, many fans and pundits have understandable outrage about the situation, and that certainly will not evaporate after a few positive remarks from long-time friends.
The situation remains murky in Atlanta, and unfortunately, it will likely remain that way until long after the sale of the team becomes final.