Wysłany: Pon Sty 08, 2018 03:01 Temat postu: eason, Ruff had a primary power-play unit
ATLANTA -- Less than one month after the Clippers sale ended Donald Sterlings ugly downfall, another NBA team is on the market following a racially charged disclosure from its owner. Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson said Sunday he is selling his controlling interest in the team, thanks in part to an inflammatory email he wrote two years ago. Levenson said he wrote the email in an attempt to bridge Atlantas racial sports divide. Instead, he offered his divisive comments, including his theory that Hawks black fans kept white fans away. Levenson said he regrets the email sent to the teams co-owners and general manager Danny Ferry in 2012 as inappropriate and offensive. In a statement released by the team, Levenson said he sent the email due to his concerns about low attendance and a need to attract suburban whites. He says he later realized the email made it seem white fans were more important. He voluntarily reported the email to the NBA. I have said repeatedly that the NBA should have zero tolerance for racism, and I strongly believe that to be true, Levenson said in the statement. That is why I voluntarily reported my inappropriate email to the NBA. After much long and difficult contemplation, I have decided that it is in the best interests of the team, the Atlanta community, and the NBA to sell my controlling interest in the Hawks franchise. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Sunday the league will work with the Hawks ownership group and CEO Steve Koonin, who now will oversee all team operations. Silver said the leagues independent investigation regarding the circumstances of Mr. Levensons comments in the email was ongoing when he was told Saturday night of Levensons plan to sell his share of the team. Silver said he supported Levensons decision. 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, Silver said. He shared with me how truly remorseful he is for using those hurtful words and how apologetic he is to the entire NBA family -- fans, players, team employees, business partners and fellow team owners -- for having diverted attention away from our game. I commend Mr. Levenson for self-reporting to the league office, for being fully co-operative with the league and its independent investigator, and for putting the best interests of the Hawks, the Atlanta community, and the NBA first. Sterling was forced to sell the Los Angeles Clippers after a recording surfaced in April of the owner scolding his girlfriend for bringing black men to Clippers games. Steve Ballmer officially became the teams new owner on Aug. 12. In the email sent in August 2012, Levenson said southern whites were uncomfortable at games. 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. Please dont get me wrong. There was nothing threatening going on in the arena back then. I never felt uncomfortable, but I think southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority. Levenson said Hawks crowds were 70 per cent black, the teams cheerleaders were black and hip-hop music was played. Then I start looking around at other arenas, Levenson said. It is completely different. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Atlantas population was 54 per cent black and 38.4-per cent white in 2010. For metro Atlanta, the ratio is 55.4 per cent white and 32.4 per cent black. Levenson said he often heard fans say the area around Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta is dangerous. This was just racist garbage, Levenson said. When I hear some people saying the arena is in the wrong place I think it is code for there are too many blacks at the games. Though he said he disagreed with the conclusion, he said he told team executives to add white cheerleaders and music familiar to a 40-year-old white guy. Added Levenson in the email: I have even (complained) that the kiss cam is too black. Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed said the comments in Levensons email were reprehensible and offensive. The statements do not represent the city of Atlantas history of diversity and inclusion, and we will be clear and deliberate in denouncing and repudiating them, Reed said. I applaud the NBAs efforts to enforce a no-tolerance policy of discrimination. As a city, we will continue to stand behind the Atlanta Hawks organization as they work to find new ownership that reflects the values and ideals of a city that is too busy to hate. The Rev. Al Sharpton released a statement encouraging Silver to continue vetting all owners. The announcement by Bruce Levenson is welcomed and appropriate by those of us in the civil rights community, that raised the issue of Donald Sterlings need to be removed, and that other owners must be held accountable, Sharpton said. Though the NBA investigation of the email was ongoing, Levenson apparently concluded he couldnt continue in his ownership role. If youre angry about what I wrote, you should be, Levenson said in Sundays statement. Im 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. This is not Levensons first effort to sell the team. In 2011, the Hawks ownership group, headed by Levenson and Michael Gearon Jr., made an unsuccessful attempt to sell to California developer and pizza chain owner Alex Meruelo. The group acquired the Hawks and the NHL Thrashers from Time Warner in 2004. 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Chris Paul Jersey .TV Series: Duck Dynasty.While the Dallas Stars are still young, their expectations have clearly changed.This group is no longer just hoping to get to the playoffs.Weve been together for a year now. The new players have fit in well, said Jamie Benn, their 25-year-old captain. Weve got a little bit more confidence as a group just making the playoffs, and I think we can bring that into this year.Not only did the Stars end the longest post-season drought in franchise history last season, they came oh so close to taking top-seeded Anaheim to Game 7 in the opening round. The Ducks had to score twice in the final 2:10 of regulation in Game 6 to force overtime, and won on the only shot there.We had a great year last year, and this year I think our expectations are a lot higher, said Tyler Seguin, the 22-year-old centre.General manager Jim Nill, a longtime assistant GM with Detroit, was hired in April 2013 after the Stars missed the playoffs for the fifth season in a row. He hired veteran coach Lindy Ruff, who had eight playoff appearances in his 15 seasons with Buffalo.Nills biggest initial deal was a seven-player trade with Boston to get former second overall pick Seguin, who in his debut Dallas season was the leading scorer with 84 points (37 goals, 47 assists). This off-season, Nill added 31-year-old former Ottawa teammates Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.Last year, Jamie Benn moving back to the wing, Seguin coming in, how were they going to mesh together? And weve seen that theyre as dynamic a duo as there is, Nill said. A lot of questions have been answered. ... Weve got the excitement of adding Spezza, Hemsky and these guys. Its an exciting time, good for our team.Spezza (23 goals, 43 assists) is a centre acquired in a trade before free-agent right wing Hemsky (13 goals, 30 assists combined with Edmonton and Ottawa) signed a three-year contract. The two will likely be paired together, providing another scoring line behind the front line led by Seguin and Bennn (34 goals, 45 assists).ddddddddddddHere are some things to know about the 2014-15 Dallas Stars, who open the season at home Oct. 9 against Western Conference finalist Chicago:POTENT POWER PLAY: During the preseason, Ruff had a primary power-play unit that included Seguin and Benn, his top two scorers from last season, and newcomers Spezza and Hemsky. We were finding each other, Seguin said. It will be great to see what we can do once we learn each other a lot. Ruff said he expects those guys to read off each other, rather than having a specific plan where, Youve got to be here, and youve got to be there.BACKUP GOALIE: The Stars went into training camp with several options to be goalie Kari Lehtonens backup. They used four different players in that role last season. Anders Lindback, who started 67 games over the past four seasons with Nashville and Tampa Bay, exited training camp as the second goalie on the roster.WORKING CLASS: Benn said the team has developed an identity as a hard-working team. Weve got to be the hardest-working team out there, the captain said. Our skills going to help us out, but if we dont work hard, were not going to win many games.STILL UNSIGNED: When the Stars opened training camp in mid-September, unsigned restricted free agents Cody Eakin and Brenden Dillon were working out at home in Canada. Eakin, a centre, signed a two-year deal and joined the team this week. Defenceman Dillon remained unsigned and it was uncertain if his contract would be resolved before the season.PEVERLEYS PROGRESS: Nearly seven months after collapsing on the bench during a game because of an irregular heartbeat, forward Rich Peverley is doing off-ice workouts. 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