For the second time in five months, a National Basketball Association team owner will be selling his shares of a team after racist remarks. LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling was forced to sell his team for $2 billion after his mistress, V. Stiviano taped him telling her that he didn’t want her bringing Black people (namely NBA legend, Magic Johnson) to Clippers’ games. Now, Atlanta Hawks managing partner, Bruce Levenson has agreed to sell his controlling stake in the franchise following an inflammatory email in 2012.
Published by the Washington Post, the Atlanta Hawks owner wrote:
“My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a [significant] season ticket base. Please [don’t] get me wrong. There was nothing threatening going on in the [arena] back then. i never felt uncomfortable, but i think southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority. On fan sites i would read comments about how dangerous it is around philips yet in our 9 years, i don’t know of a mugging or even a pick pocket incident. This was just racist garbage. When I hear some people saying the arena is in the wrong place I think it is code for there are too many blacks at the games.”
These words, without a doubt, is offensive to Atlanta, one of America’s “Chocolate Cities” and the many Black Atlanta Hawks fans there. The email can especially be seen as ignorant, because no stats are given to support his claim. Levenson has since apologized and notified NBA commissioner, Adam Silver that he intends to sell his stake in the team.