An upset fan had a sit-down meeting with Atlanta Hawks general manager Wes Wilcox this week after the team leader made a very racially insensitive joke associating Black women with being angry last month, reports Deadspin.
During a “Chalk Talk” fan event in December, Wilcox made a joke perpetuating the stereotypical trope by referencing his “Black wife” as angry, to the dismay of Hawks season ticket holder Clarenton Crawford. Wilcox had responded to a question about why the Hawks’ best players were riding the bench instead of playing more minutes during games when he blurted out the offensive comment, writes the news outlet:
According to Crawford and another source who was present, Wilcox, who is white, tried to diffuse the tension with a joke:
“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.”
Crawford, who is black, said he and his wife Deborah were “livid” after the end of the meeting, particularly due to the team’s recent history. (Two years ago, Wilcox’s predecessor, Danny Ferry, make racially disparaging remarks about Luol Deng on a conference call; in the ensuing NBA investigation, then-owner Bruce Levenson was revealed to have sent an email implying that white fans were more valuable than black fans. Ferry resigned his post, and Levenson sold the team.)
Wilcox apologized for the comment, reports ESPN, after the damage was done and the team amassed a recent record of organization higher-ups making racially charged remarks.