Thursday, February 09, 2017
Sportsmen must not mention the race of their wives
Atlanta Hawks general manager Wes Wilcox has received an undisclosed discipline from the organization for a racially charged joke he made during a season-ticket holder event last month, a team executive told ESPN's The Undefeated.
Wilcox, who is white, fielded questions from about 200 season-ticket holders and club members at a "Chalk Talk" event on Dec. 7. After some challenging questions from attendees, Deadspin reported that Wilcox responded by saying he had "a black wife and three mixed kids, so I'm used to people being angry and argumentative."
A Hawks internal investigation from Dec. 27 to Jan. 9 that included interviews with attendees concluded that Wilcox didn't use the words "angry and argumentative," but the mention of race merited his being reprimanded internally by the franchise.
"After hearing multiple sides of the story and getting multiple eyewitness accounts of what took place, I am not convinced that what we heard and read in Deadspin is a direct quote that was used," Nzinga Shaw, Hawks and Philips Arena chief diversity and inclusion officer, told The Undefeated on Tuesday. "Wes, however, certainly did make his off-color statement, which included elements of describing his wife's race. People that were in the room could make the assumption that he was using her race for the reason of the comments that followed. We certainly do not approve of this behavior and we are going to handle this manner internally."