ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks have announced that Danny Ferry has stepped down as general manager of the team, ending an indefinite leave of absence that began in August following racially derogatory comments Ferry made.

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Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said in a statement Monday announcing the move that Ferry is a "tremendous GM" and that he "is not a racist." Koonin added now that the Hawks have identified new owners, "the resolution of Danny's contract with existing ownership is appropriate."

Ferry, 48, hadn't commented publicly since going on indefinite leave, but said in the Hawks' release that while the year has been "incredibly difficult and humbling, it is critical for me to clear my name and for people to realize that I have always built a culture of respect, diversity, and honesty."