Add another man to the list of people on the Forgive Danny Ferry national tour. This one, however, is the target of the incredibly inappropriate characterizations posing as a scouting report, the Miami Heat forward Luol Deng.
Deng spoke at Miami's media day and told the media there that "one of the hardest things to do...is to forgive." Deng went on to say that he forgives Ferry and doesn't think the Hawks currently exiled GM as a racist.
Here is a video, thanks to ESPN.com, that shows Deng speaking about being ready to move forward from this episode.
Deng also spoke about whether he was indeed, as he was rumored to be, close to signing with the Hawks in the offseason.
"I was," Deng said. "If I was there, maybe [Ferry's words] would not have come out. You just don't know. I didn't know definitely [if I was going to Atlanta]. But I'm here now."
Does adding Deng to the list of forgivers make Ferry's path back into the Hawks GM chair more feasible? More importantly, does Deng, along with Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan, Elton Brand and others mean that players will be able to work with Ferry?
Deng mentions that the process, and the fact that crap like this (my words) came out into the light might help this kind of prejudicial characterizations of players fade away by saying "How we have a chance to put an end to it and just make sure those things don't happen against and we can educate people and how to talk about certain things". Does the fact that Ferry's comments were outed actually help Ferry in that players will know that Ferry accepted his wrongness and is taking action, unlike the other GMs who might yet be outed?
Even so, it may not matter to the city and the people of Atlanta until Ferry also comes to them, in public, to discuss. He's faced the music in many areas and should be commended for taking that action, but the people of Atlanta and Hawks fans, need the same. Deng's forgiveness is commendable and very important, but until Ferry seeks the forgiveness of the people of Atlanta, there will still be one last important wound to heal.