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Bruce Levenson To Step Down As Atlanta Hawks Owner After Release Of Racist Email

Atlanta Hawks' Bruce Levenson will step down effective immediately as owner of the NBA team after the release of a racist email he sent in 2012.

According to USA Today, Levenson reported the email to the league in July while the investigation into Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was underway. In the email Levenson sent to Hawks President Danny Ferry, Levenson alleges the Hawks fanbase is too African-American, which is what he believed was hurting season ticket sales.

Read an excerpt from the email sent on Aug. 25, 2012, below.

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. 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.

Levenson then goes onto offer suggestions as to how to remedy the overwhelming black presence.

"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."

In a statement, Levenson apologized for his insensitive statements and for taking Atlanta Hawks fans for granted.

"I wrote an e-mail two years ago that was inappropriate and offensive," Levenson said in a Hawks news release Sunday morning. "I trivialized our fans by making clichéd assumptions about their interests (i.e., hip hop vs. country, white vs. black cheerleaders, etc.) and by stereotyping their perceptions of one another (i.e., that white fans might be afraid of our black fans). By focusing on race, I also sent the unintentional and hurtful message that our white fans are more valuable than our black fans."

It's quite obvious Donald Sterling wasn't the only one.

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Marshawn Lynch Reportedly Plans To Retire From NFL Again

Pro-footballer Marshawn Lynch might take another indefinite break from the National Football League. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Lynch will step away from the turf "after two seasons playing for his hometown Oakland Raiders."

CBS Sports reports Lynch prepared to share his decision on staying in the league or exiting after the NFL Draft, which is set to take place on Thursday (April 25). He's been with the Raiders since 2017.

Prior to suiting up for his hometown's team, Lynch launched his pro career with the Buffalo Bills where he was stationed from 2007-2010. Following that stint, the 33-year-old entrepreneur traveled across the country to play for the Seattle Seahawks from 2010-2015.

Following his last year with the Seahawks, Lynch publicized his retirement by posting a picture of hanged up cleats on Twitter. In 2017, Lynch laced up once more to join the Oakland Raiders. During a press conference, Lynch shared that he wanted to play for the team before their move to Las Vegas, as a symbol to young children that someone from their town is a part of this movement.

"With me being from here and continuing to be here, it gives them an opportunity to see someone who actually did it, who is from where they're from, someone they probably idolized," he said, per USA Today. Lynch also shared the atmosphere he would encounter on game days.

"The way we feel about where we're from, and why we represent so hard is because we know what the struggle is and how we get down," he said. "Every home game that I get to come to this [stadium], I'm probably going to be riding with the whole town."

After two seasons playing for his hometown Oakland Raiders, Marshawn Lynch is not planning to play football again, league sources tell ESPN.

Now, with the three-day draft kicking off Thursday night in Nashville, the Raiders have one more potential need to address: running back.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 24, 2019

✌🏿 pic.twitter.com/wesip4IhOR

— Shawn Lynch (@MoneyLynch) February 8, 2016

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Russell Wilson Buys Amazon Stock For Select Teammates

Russell Wilson recently made history as the National Football League's (NFL) highest paid player. To celebrate this wealth, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback purchased Amazon stock worth $12,000 apiece for 13 of the team's offensive linesmen, TMZ reports.

The premise behind the gesture is to help set the players on a lucrative path post-NFL. "We all have dreams of what we can build and accomplish off the field," he wrote in a memo. "One important lesson I have learned thus far in my career: The memories on the field will last forever, but we have to constantly prepare for life after football."

In the letter that was sent to his teammates, Wilson said he was indecisive on what to give them as a sign of his appreciation for their protection on the field. "Some were flashy, some were cool, but I wanted to give you something that had a lasting impact," he said. "Something that would affect the lives of you, your family, and your children." According to CNBC, each linesmen's stock could be worth $270,000 in the next 10 years if Amazon's shares continue to result in a return of 2,200 percent.

Earlier this month, Wilson signed a $140 million contract. He'll suit up with the Seahawks for the next four years. The re-signing follows a previous four-year agreement the 30-year-old athlete made with the team.

 

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SEATTLE. Let’s get it. @Seahawks #GoHawks

A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on Apr 16, 2019 at 12:43am PDT

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Russell Wilson Reportedly Becomes Highest-Paid NFL Player

At the end of the NFL's season earlier this year, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson expressed his desire to remain in the Rain City but only if his deal could be renegotiated. As of April 15, it appears that Wilson, with the help of his agent Mark Rodgers, received exactly what he asked for.

According to ESPN, Wilson and his team of seven years signed an agreement of a $140 million extension, plus an added $65 million signing bonus, currently making the 30-year-old the highest paid player in the NFL.

With this renegotiation, Wilson not only takes the spot as the richest athlete in the league from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but he also set a record with his signing bonus being the highest ever.

Wilson took to his Instagram page to announce the good news with a video featuring his wife, R&B singer Ciara. "Hey Seattle, we got a deal," he said in the clip while lying in bed with Ciara. "Go Hawks. But I'mma see y'all in the morning. Time for y'all to go to bed."

 

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SEATTLE. Let’s get it. @Seahawks #GoHawks

A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on Apr 16, 2019 at 12:43am PDT

News of Wilson's deal comes after four days of negotiating between the quarterback's agent and the Seahawks. Wilson and Rodgers had a deadline for midnight for the Seahawks to make a suitable decision. On Tuesday (April 16), prior to the negotiation being set in stone, Rodgers stated that "at the end of the day my guy wants to live, work, thrive in Seattle. Loves this town and its fans. He compromised to stay here. I respect that."

Wilson's move was welcomed with open arms from Ciara, who took to his Instagram comments to say "So proud of you baby! God is so good! #GoHawks."

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