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Nothing Bruce Levenson wrote was racist


I saw that Atlanta Hawks basketball team owner Bruce Levenson told the NBA in July 2014 that he wrote a “racist” email two years ago, and now he wants to sell his share of the team.

I had never heard of the Atlanta Hawks before. But I thought it was odd that a majority-stake owner in a sports team would report himself to the NBA and call himself a racist, and then announce that he wants to sell his share of the team.

Not to give USA Today any business (because I want the paper to die), but only because they printed the text of Levenson’s email, here is a link to what he said.

I have read it three times now. Levenson comes across as a team owner looking for ways to boost attendance and to sell more souvenirs, not as a racist. His observations were merely that, observations. It’s not racist to make observations. Although the things he described would certainly make me less likely to attend a Hawks game. (When I think of NBA basketball, I think of the Indiana Pacers-Detroit Pistons brawl.)

I think Levenson declared himself a racist in order to attract attention to his plan to sell his stake in the team. Certainly he’s gotten more media attention for his “racist” email than he would have if he’d simply put up his share of the team for sale.

The whole thing sounds very odd to me. Levenson is perhaps guilty of having an ulterior motive, but he’s definitely not guilty of racism.

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