OT: ATL Hawks Owner | The Boneyard

OT: ATL Hawks Owner

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Bruce Levenson, the owner of the Atlanta Hawks has self reported a racist email that he sent and is selling the team. I imagine someone found the email and pressured him.

Here's the email. I am just wondering what people think about this. He definitely said some stupid things but this whole situation seems a little odd and I honestly don't think it was racist.
 

Dynasty

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This isn't racist. Just a business man trying to make more money for his team.
 
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I mean this guy is not making any racial comments himself, beyond what he observes at his games. He's more addressing the (I believe somewhat understood) racism that may exist in 35-55 white corporate guys. Maybe it's a little off-putting that he feels a need to pander to these guys, but at the end of the day it's his business and it's his job to make it thrive.
 
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Looks like someone saw how much the Clippers sold for and decided it was time for a come up, that email is hardly anything and definitely not in the same galaxy as what Sterling got away with for years.
 
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Yea so I basically just don't understand why he thought he had to resign. Is our country so politically correct that he really thought he had no other option? I guess so...
 

SubbaBub

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My guess is this was about to come out and this particular rich white guy didn't want to deal with the hassle before cashing out over $1B. The email itself isn't overtly racist, though some of the typo/Freudian slips are pretty funny (White Trashers, instead of white attended Thrashers games) but it does delve in spots to focusing on the stereotypical differences between white people and non-white people, instead of focusing on his market. The guys is in so many ways (subconsciously) saying that he wants the black fans who are showing up to be replaced by higher spending white fans. That is not something you want the leader of your organization thinking. Instead, he should have focused on the problem of selling more season tickets to the people that show up at games. I.e. discount family tickets (2 adults and two kids tickets, or a half price kids ticket with every adult ticket, etc.)

It he wants to change the game ops to be more mainstream, then he should say that instead of implying that it should be lightened up. He probably doesn't realize that most mainstream acts these days aren't white.

Lastly, his market is not everyone else's market. He is benchmarking like all execs do, but he fails to realize what make his market unique is an opportunity and not necessarily a challenge. If the perception that his arena isn't safe, then address that, by hiring more visible security, integrate with arena parking and transit, ally with the neighboring entertainment district association or form one is one doesn't exist to impress that a hawk game night is a safe no hassle experience to those whose sensibilities might feel otherwise.

That is how a businessman addresses a demo problem.
 

Husky25

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If you're really a racist owner and have no history, you don't self report. He's trying to add value to his franchise.
 

Chin Diesel

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Yep. There's a small window for owners to confess and fall on the sword so that they can sell their franchise above market value.
 
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I can understand the general thought that we've gone too PC as a society. I'm not sure this situation applies. He's the owner of a business that is made up almost completely of African Americans and he also claims a large proportion of his customers are African American. He sends out an email stating that he'd like to have less of them as customers as they're apparently bad for business. This isn't even disguised racism. This is right in your face racism. He's said so himself. I also tend to doubt that he self reported without any pressure to do so. Maybe the pressure was the dollar signs he saw after the Clippers sale, or maybe it was someone who received that email. I doubt we'll ever know.
 
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This isn't racist, it's just a business man trying to figure out how to improve attendance at his games. He was making commentary on racist things in American culture but what he said isn't racist. I agree that he saw how much Sterling sold his franchise for and his self reporting is just another business decision.
 
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Apparently he unsuccessfully tried to sell his stake in '11.
 
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Yeah, well, by today's standards, this is racist. The guy is essentially saying that black people are bad for business because 1. They don't have money and so don't spend any money at the game other than the ticket, and 2. Because black people scare white people, who have more money to spend. He then concludes that they need more white people and fewer black people.

How can that possibly be construed to be anything but racist? Really? And notwithstanding the fact that everything the guy said was true.

It's not about true. It's about applying a rule to a race.

His intent is to downsize the black portion of his fan base. That's racist. Simple and pure. Because, in the broad net of "fewer black people," you catch the black people who have money and who spend it there.

I'm actually a bit shocked that I (Frank Ivy) am the only one on the BY providing this perspective.

I mean, come on people. The next step after this would be to simply get rid of all black people at the games, excepting the players of course. The white people would love that and it would be great for business.

What the hell people.
 

gtcam

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Yeah C'mon people, if Strummer says you're wrong - you're wrong. Period. wake up and smell the coffee
Boy I can't wait for the season to start!!!!
 
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Yeah, well, by today's standards, this is racist. The guy is essentially saying that black people are bad for business because 1. They don't have money and so don't spend any money at the game other than the ticket, and 2. Because black people scare white people, who have more money to spend. He then concludes that they need more white people and fewer black people.

How can that possibly be construed to be anything but racist? Really? And notwithstanding the fact that everything the guy said was true.

It's not about true. It's about applying a rule to a race.

His intent is to downsize the black portion of his fan base. That's racist. Simple and pure. Because, in the broad net of "fewer black people," you catch the black people who have money and who spend it there.

I'm actually a bit shocked that I (Frank Ivy) am the only one on the BY providing this perspective.

I mean, come on people. The next step after this would be to simply get rid of all black people at the games, excepting the players of course. The white people would love that and it would be great for business.

What the hell people.
White flight is a very real thing, the owner was just pointing it out.
 
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I thought Sterling deserved to go. This guy.... not so much.

Is it possible he just really wanted out? I know he tried to sell the team before. This seems puzzling to me. Not the most racially sensitive wording, but it wasn't hateful in any way.
 

Husky25

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I thought Sterling deserved to go. This guy.... not so much.

Is it possible he just really wanted out? I know he tried to sell the team before. This seems puzzling to me. Not the most racially sensitive wording, but it wasn't hateful in any way.
If he wants out, how does this increase the value of his team?
 
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This isn't racist. Just a business man trying to make more money for his team.
Agree completely. Business owners and individuals for that matter should consider the chance that any of their emails could be made public like a letter before the internet.
 
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If he wants out, how does this increase the value of his team?
Well obviously this release doesn't increase the value of the franchise, but the sale of the Clippers and even the Bucks are far and above what his group bought in for and even what they were looking for in 2011.

Maybe he's trying to pre-empt and get out. I don't know. Maybe they're spooked after the Sterling incident.
 

pj

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Yeah, well, by today's standards, this is racist. The guy is essentially saying that black people are bad for business because 1. They don't have money and so don't spend any money at the game other than the ticket, and 2. Because black people scare white people, who have more money to spend. He then concludes that they need more white people and fewer black people.

How can that possibly be construed to be anything but racist? Really? And notwithstanding the fact that everything the guy said was true.

It's not about true. It's about applying a rule to a race.

In a deeper sense, it's about ultimate loyalties: What should a person be faithful to, the truth, or social taboos?
 

Bonehead

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This is now NOT A SELF REPORTED VIOLATION - nice try on their part!

ESPN sources say that the player referred to in the initial Hawks' background report that triggered the ensuing investigation was Luol Deng
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) September 8, 2014

Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski continued:
'He's still a young guy overall,' [Hawks general manager Danny] Ferry said, league sources with direct knowledge of the probe told Yahoo. 'He's a good guy overall. But he's not perfect. He's got some African in him. And I don't say that in a bad way.'

Wojnarowski also reported that Ferry has since apologized:
Ferry called Ron Shade, Deng's agent, to apologize. "I have no reaction, but we've spoken," Shade tells Yahoo. Ferry reached out to Deng too
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) September 8, 2014

He's got some African in him? Would anyone like to define that one for me?​
 

Dynasty

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"He's a good guy overall. But he's not perfect. He's got some African in him. And I don't say that in a bad way."

Lol, what the duckk does that even mean?
 
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Amin Elhassan, who now works for ESPN and used to work for several NBA front offices, including the Hawks, believes this is a smoke screen for something bigger
 
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