UPDATE: Hawks minority owner called for Ferry’s ouster over racial remark

Hawks general manager Danny Ferry speaks during the press conference introducing Mike Budenholzer as the new coach on May 29, 2013 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  

Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

UPDATE: An Atlanta Hawks minority owner called for Danny Ferry, the team’s GM and president of basketball operations, to resign or be fired for an offensive racial comment, WSB-TV reports.

Ferry’s comments "could be fatal to the franchise," Michael Gearon Jr. wrote in a June email to majority owner Bruce Levenson. Read the full text of the email here.

The investigation that led to Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson’s decision to sell his interest in the team was sparked by comments from Hawks GM Danny Ferry, who referred to free agent Luol Deng as having "some African in him" during a conference call, according to Yahoo! Sports/FOX Sports 1 NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

Levenson on Sunday announced his decision to sell, thanks in part to a racially inflammatory email he wrote two years ago suggesting that, for several reasons, "Southern whites" were uncomfortable at Hawks games.

But Wojnarowki reports that the independent investigation that uncovered Levenson’s email — which had been sent to Ferry and two other minority owners — came about after Ferry remarked in early June on the heritage of Deng, who was born in the Sudan.

"Those words do not reflect my views, or words that I would use to describe an individual and I certainly regret it," Ferry said in a statement released Tuesday. Ferry also apologized to "those I offended and to Luol, who I reached out to Monday morning."

Team CEO Steve Koonin told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Ferry will be disciplined for reading the comment:

The Hawks ultimately did not sign Deng, who will play for the Miami Heat this coming season.