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LAWeaver

ATL Hawks to be sold due to offensive email

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This is great news to Hawks fans. We've been pissed off at the ownership group. First they lost the Thrashers, and now this. We need personable ownership. People in Atlanta look at Arthur Blank as a God, and anyone who can emulate him should come right in.

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So was Levenson the architect of the roster of those last few Atlanta Thrashers teams?

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Poor Steve Ballmer. Could've bought the Hawks for a relative pittance and moved them to Seattle without anyone in Atlanta noticing.

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This is very strange. He self-reported it, and the e-mail really doesn't seem that bad... at least the way it's portrayed in the article. It seems like he sent an e-mail saying, "White people aren't coming to our games. Should we play more country music?" Not exactly Sterling II.

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The NBA has fast become a bad place to be a cranky old Jewish man, huh.

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when digging into why our season ticket base is so small, i was told it is because we can't get 35-55 white males and corporations to buy season tixs and they are the primary demo for season tickets around the league.

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. On fan sites i would read comments about how dangerous it is around philips yet in our 9 years, i don't know of a mugging or even a pick pocket incident. This was just racist garbage. 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.

This isn't even that bad! If anything, he's frustrated with white people. At first, I was puzzled, but then I remembered that we're dealing with the Atlanta Spirit idiots, and it's totally possible he just wanted to cash out and thought to himself that if Sterling got so much money for getting caught talking about The Blacks, imagine what he could fetch for catching himself.

What is interesting in all this is that for all the big talk about the NBA's scary "hip-hop culture," the games themselves are attended by the same wealthy white folks as other sports leagues.

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This is very strange. He self-reported it, and the e-mail really doesn't seem that bad... at least the way it's portrayed in the article. It seems like he sent an e-mail saying, "White people aren't coming to our games. Should we play more country music?" Not exactly Sterling II.

Did you read the full text? He even used the late steroetype (aka CP Time).

Excerpt (bolded for my emphasis):

i was told it is because we can't get 35-55 white males and corporations to buy season tixs and they are the primary demo for season tickets around the league. when i pushed further, folks generally shrugged their shoulders. then i start looking around our arena during games and notice the following:

-- it's 70 pct black

-- the cheerleaders are black

-- the music is hip hop

-- at the bars it's 90 pct black

-- there are few fathers and sons at the games

-- we are doing after game concerts to attract more fans and the concerts are either hip hop or gospel.

Then i start looking around at other arenas. It is completely different. Even DC with its affluent black community never has more than 15 pct black audience.

Before we bought the hawks and for those couple years immediately after in an effort to make the arena look full (at the nba's urging) thousands and thousands of tickets were being giving away, predominantly in the black community, adding to the overwhelming black audience.

My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a signficant season ticket base. Please dont get me wrong. There was nothing threatening going on in the arean 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. On fan sites i would read comments about how dangerous it is around philips yet in our 9 years, i don't know of a mugging or even a pick pocket incident. This was just racist garbage. 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.

I have been open with our executive team about these concerns. I have told them I want some white cheerleaders and while i don't care what the color of the artist is, i want the music to be music familiar to a 40 year old white guy if that's our season tixs demo. i have also balked when every fan picked out of crowd to shoot shots in some time out contest is black. I have even bitched that the kiss cam is too black.

Gradually things have changed. My unscientific guess is that our crowd is 40 pct black now, still four to five times all other teams. And my further guess is that 40 pct still feels like 70 pet to some whites at our games. Our bars are still overwhelmingly black.

He basically wrote down EVERYTHING which the Atlanta Braves management team wanted to say to try to justify moving to Cobb County.

Keep in mind that Donald Sterling v. NBA is still an active lawsuit, so if it goes to pretrial discovery, communications like this were probably going to be given to the court.

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I'm sorry, but I'm gonna guess black people disproportionately make up the fanbases for gospel and hip-hop music. And there really is an epidemic of black single mothers.

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I'm sorry, but I'm gonna guess black people disproportionately make up the fanbases for gospel and hip-hop music. And there really is an epidemic of black single mothers.

Yes, but the point is that he is saying that despite their status as paying customers (presumably), they are undesirable paying customers. Because of the color of their skin. That's where this gets dicey.

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I'm sorry, but I'm gonna guess black people disproportionately make up the fanbases for gospel and hip-hop music. And there really is an epidemic of black single mothers.

Yes, but the point is that he is saying that despite their status as paying customers (presumably), they are undesirable paying customers. Because of the color of their skin. That's where this gets dicey.

Maybe I'm just putting myself in his shoes, but if I run an NBA team with a mostly-black audience and I hear that most teams' season tickets are sold to middle age white guys, I see a potential market not being tapped. If there's (just making up a number) 100,000 people would would think about buying tickets to a basketball game in your city, you can charge higher prices and keep attendance the same if there are 130,000 people potentially buying tickets to a game. It would be the same if I had a mostly white audience and heard that most season tickets are sold to blacks. I would wonder what we could do to the get the black audience. Black people being late and lazy are stereotypes; black people liking rap and/or hip-hop is just market research.

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How much of Levenson's self-snitching is about waiting for the $2 billion sale of the Clippers to be official before wanting to cash-out with a similar profit of selling the Hawks?

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My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a signficant season ticket base. Please dont get me wrong. There was nothing threatening going on in the arean 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. On fan sites i would read comments about how dangerous it is around philips yet in our 9 years, i don't know of a mugging or even a pick pocket incident. This was just racist garbage. 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.

In the Ferguson thread, somebody quoted MLK saying "a riot is the language of the unheard" to make it seem like he'd be down with what was going on. The quote within context was more like "it's wrong and I don't like it, but I think this is why people are doing it". That's what this part of the quote reminds me of. He's saying he thinks white people are scared of the area/crowd. He even says it's stupid racist stuff and the alleged perception doesn't match reality.

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How much of Levenson's self-snitching is about waiting for the $2 billion sale of the Clippers to be official before wanting to cash-out with a similar profit of selling the Hawks?

He's not going to get anywhere near that much money. The clippers being in LA is what caused that price. An Atlanta basketball team wont fetch that amount of cash.

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I'm sorry, but I'm gonna guess black people disproportionately make up the fanbases for gospel and hip-hop music. And there really is an epidemic of black single mothers.

Yes, but the point is that he is saying that despite their status as paying customers (presumably), they are undesirable paying customers. Because of the color of their skin. That's where this gets dicey.

Maybe I'm just putting myself in his shoes, but if I run an NBA team with a mostly-black audience and I hear that most teams' season tickets are sold to middle age white guys, I see a potential market not being tapped. If there's (just making up a number) 100,000 people would would think about buying tickets to a basketball game in your city, you can charge higher prices and keep attendance the same if there are 130,000 people potentially buying tickets to a game. It would be the same if I had a mostly white audience and heard that most season tickets are sold to blacks. I would wonder what we could do to the get the black audience. Black people being late and lazy are stereotypes; black people liking rap and/or hip-hop is just market research.

Did his study take market demographics into consideration though? Greater Atlanta is 30% black.

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I'm sorry, but I'm gonna guess black people disproportionately make up the fanbases for gospel and hip-hop music. And there really is an epidemic of black single mothers.

Yes, but the point is that he is saying that despite their status as paying customers (presumably), they are undesirable paying customers. Because of the color of their skin. That's where this gets dicey.

Maybe I'm just putting myself in his shoes, but if I run an NBA team with a mostly-black audience and I hear that most teams' season tickets are sold to middle age white guys, I see a potential market not being tapped. If there's (just making up a number) 100,000 people would would think about buying tickets to a basketball game in your city, you can charge higher prices and keep attendance the same if there are 130,000 people potentially buying tickets to a game. It would be the same if I had a mostly white audience and heard that most season tickets are sold to blacks. I would wonder what we could do to the get the black audience. Black people being late and lazy are stereotypes; black people liking rap and/or hip-hop is just market research.

Did his study take market demographics into consideration though? Greater Atlanta is 30% black.

Kinda... his anecdotal evidence compares the arena to that in DC, which isn't far off from a 30% black regional population.

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This is very strange. He self-reported it, and the e-mail really doesn't seem that bad... at least the way it's portrayed in the article. It seems like he sent an e-mail saying, "White people aren't coming to our games. Should we play more country music?" Not exactly Sterling II.

Did you read the full text? He even used the late steroetype (aka CP Time).

Excerpt (bolded for my emphasis):

i was told it is because we can't get 35-55 white males and corporations to buy season tixs and they are the primary demo for season tickets around the league. when i pushed further, folks generally shrugged their shoulders. then i start looking around our arena during games and notice the following:

-- it's 70 pct black

-- the cheerleaders are black

-- the music is hip hop

-- at the bars it's 90 pct black

-- there are few fathers and sons at the games

-- we are doing after game concerts to attract more fans and the concerts are either hip hop or gospel.

Then i start looking around at other arenas. It is completely different. Even DC with its affluent black community never has more than 15 pct black audience.

Before we bought the hawks and for those couple years immediately after in an effort to make the arena look full (at the nba's urging) thousands and thousands of tickets were being giving away, predominantly in the black community, adding to the overwhelming black audience.

My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a signficant season ticket base. Please dont get me wrong. There was nothing threatening going on in the arean 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. On fan sites i would read comments about how dangerous it is around philips yet in our 9 years, i don't know of a mugging or even a pick pocket incident. This was just racist garbage. 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.

I have been open with our executive team about these concerns. I have told them I want some white cheerleaders and while i don't care what the color of the artist is, i want the music to be music familiar to a 40 year old white guy if that's our season tixs demo. i have also balked when every fan picked out of crowd to shoot shots in some time out contest is black. I have even bitched that the kiss cam is too black.

Gradually things have changed. My unscientific guess is that our crowd is 40 pct black now, still four to five times all other teams. And my further guess is that 40 pct still feels like 70 pet to some whites at our games. Our bars are still overwhelmingly black.

He basically wrote down EVERYTHING which the Atlanta Braves management team wanted to say to try to justify moving to Cobb County.

Keep in mind that Donald Sterling v. NBA is still an active lawsuit, so if it goes to pretrial discovery, communications like this were probably going to be given to the court.

The Braves demographic and game day experience is completely different than the Hawks. Nothing but white people at Braves games, for the most part, and no hip hop .

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Apparently racism is being confused with demographic statistics now a days. Even more amazing that this owner self-reported it.

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Saying, "I don't want this group of people with a certain skin color to patronize my business despite the fact that they possess the means to patronize my business" trips all sorts of alarm bells. Remember that "segregation" thing?

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