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Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson drew a hailstorm of criticism this past weekend after announcing plans to sell his controlling interest of the team following voluntarily reporting a racially charged 2012 email, addressed to Hawks President Danny Ferry, to the NBA.

And while some have deemed Levenson’s 2012 email as racist, basketball hall of famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a different perspective of the inflammatory electronic message. In an op-ed piece published by TIME, the former Los Angeles center explained why he feels Levenson was following the proper protocol in making an business decision and not an acting out of racism.

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