Tim Duncan recently joined several other NBA players in voicing their support for Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry. Ferry was accused of making racial remarks about player Loul Deng.
Ferry claims that the remarks were not his own opinion and that he was only repeating comments that were made in a scouting report, the author of which remains unclear.
Ferry has received a lot of criticism for his comments and is currently on a leave of absence and away from the team.
Duncan said in a recent radio interview that he does not believe that Ferry is racist.
“Knowing Danny, he’s not what everybody’s saying about him,” Duncan told another former teammate, Antonio Daniels, during the interview with the San Antonio radio station KZDC. “He’s not a racist.”
“We both know Danny,” Duncan told Daniels. “Danny is a jokester. He plays around. … For it to have gone this far, it’s unfortunate because he’s not that kind of person. He said something absolutely wrong and he regrets it. He’s not a racist. I know him well enough to feel comfortable saying that.”
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 24, 2014
Luol Deng, the player Ferry was talking about when he made the allegedly racist comments, has also said that he forgives Ferry for what he said and that he does not think Ferry is racist either.
“It’s not something I want to hold onto for the rest of my career or the rest of my life,” Deng said. “I had a chance to speak to Danny. I really believe that he’s really sorry for what he said. Whether it came from him or wherever it came from, I think the main focus really should be how we move on forward.”
Ferry allegedly said that Deng “had a little African in him” during a conference call with team officials over the summer. Other NBA players have also come to Ferry’s defense and say that they feel confident that he is not racist.