Sharpton Tells NBA It Must Hire Minority Owners, Do More Business With Minorities

Atlanta Hawks controlling owner Bruce Levenson has self-reported to the NBA that he sent a racist e-mail in August 2012 and will sell his interest in the team.

The email to Hawks President Danny Ferry said the Hawks audience was heavily African-American.

“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.” Levenson said in the email released Sunday by the Hawks.

Because of this statement, Levenson stepped down on Sunday.

hawks owner

The Rev. Al Sharpton released this statement demanding the NBA hire minority owners and do more business with minorities.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 (New York, NY)—

“The announcement by Bruce Levenson is welcomed and appropriate by those of us in the civil rights community, that raised the issue of Donald Sterling’s need to be removed, and that other owners must be held accountable.

Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA, following that strong recommendation from us after meeting with Mark Morial of the National Urban League, Melanie Campbell of the Black Women’s Roundtable, Cornel Brooks and myself; has now forced another owner out of the closet of racial intolerance into the daylight of public accountability.

We strongly urge the Commissioner to continue vetting all owners. We at NAN also urge the Commissioner to deal with lack of minority ownership in the NBA as these franchises become available, and their policies of doing business with minorities must be part of the package. Otherwise we are just trading billionaires for billionaires, rather than changing unfair exclusion for a better policy. We intend to meet with the Commissioner again to continue this process.”

-Reverend Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network

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