When Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson announced Sunday that he would be putting the team up for sale, conspiracists, not entirely convinced by a story involving Levenson volunteering to the league office that he'd sent a racist email, wondered when another shoe would drop. Well, here it is.

WSB-TV has obtained an email from Hawks minority owner Michael Gearon to Levenson regarding comments general manager Danny Ferry made about small forward Luol Deng on a conference call with Hawks bigwigs. It gives context to previously reported remarks Ferry made about how Deng "[has] got some African in him." The context is not good.

Gearon's email, sent June 12 of this year, depicts Ferry as just having casually made racist comments about Deng while talking with team brass. The most important excerpt:

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With respect to one potential free agent, a highly-regarded African-American player and humanitarian, Ferry talked about the player's good points, and then went on to describe his negatives, stating that "he has a little African in him. Not in a bad way, but he's like a guy who would have a nice store out front but sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back." Ferry completed the racial slur by describing the player (and impliedly, all persons of African decent) as a two-faced liar and cheat.

The full email, which is well worth reading in its entirety, is below:

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[WSB-TV]

Photo: AP