Atlanta Hawks Owner Agrees To Sell Team; Bruce Levenson To Step Down After Sending Racist Email

Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson agrees to sell the team and step down from his post after admitting that he sent a racial email in 2012.

According to USA Today, Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson reported himself to the National Basketball Association (NBA).

In a statement made on Sunday, Levenson explained the content and the reason of his "offensive" email. "I wrote an e-mail two years ago that was inappropriate and offensive," said Levenson.

"I trivialized our fans by making cliched assumptions about their interests (i.e., hip hop vs. country, white vs. balack cheerleaders, etc.) and by stereotyping their perceptions of one another (i.e, that white fans might be afraid of our black fans). By focusing on race, I also sent the unintentional and hurtful message that our white fans are more valuable than our black fans," he added.

"If you're angry about what I wrote, you should be," Levinson said. "I'm angry at myself, too. It was inflammatory nonsense. We all may have subtle biases and preconceptions when it comes to race, but my role as a leader is to challenge them, not to validate or accommodate those who might hold them."

A portion of the e-mail, which Levenson sent on August 25, 2012 to Danny Ferry, Todd Foreman and Ed Peskowitz, said "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."

There has been no confirmation made with regard to the reason why Levinson reported himself, however, a report on The New York Times mentioned a possibility of the incident relating to an investigation about his behavior.

Meanwhile, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had already issued a statement regarding Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levinson's intention to sell the team.

"Prior to the completion of the investigation, Mr. Levenson notified me last evening that he had decided to sell his controlling interest in the Atlanta Hawks," said Silver. "As Mr. Levenson acknowledged, the views he expressed are entirely unacceptable and are in stark contrast to the core principles of the National Basketball Association."

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Atlanta Hawks
Bruce Levenson

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