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Hawks GM offers apology to fan offended by joke

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Atlanta Hawks GM Wes Wilcox held a December Chalk Talk event with 200 season ticket holders to answer their questions.

During the meeting, the ticket holders voiced their displeasure about the team’s overall performance and how coach Mike Budenholzer is running the team.

Wilcox responded with a statement that was perceived as racially insensitive to season ticket holder Clarenton Crawford and wife.

I know you guys may be angry with me, but I’m used to it because I have a black wife and three mixed kids, so I’m used to people being angry and argumentative.

He then turned to ask another employee if his joke was okay, which caused Mr. Crawford to email team executives.

After Mr. Crawford spoke with Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and team diversity officer Nzinga Shaw, Wilcox issued an apology.

At an early December chalk talk, I made a self-deprecating comment at my own expense regarding my family, which is multi-racial. This joke offended Mr. Crawford and his wife and for that, I apologize.

A similar issue arose in Atlanta when ex-general manager Danny Ferry made racial remarks about Luol Deng that leaked to the media.

That ultimately led to him parting ways with the Hawks, and the team sold.

It was a joke, and while it caused a conflict team officials say Wilcox will not lose his job over the incident.

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