Sports

Civil rights leaders say they are offended after Hawks cancel scheduled meeting with team CEO

  • Civil rights leaders led by Rev. Markel Hutchins, second from left, pray in the lobby of the Phillips Arena after a scheduled meeting between Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and Atlanta civil rights leaders was cancelled, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

    Civil rights leaders led by Rev. Markel Hutchins, second from left, pray in the lobby of the Phillips Arena after a scheduled meeting between Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and Atlanta civil rights leaders was cancelled, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)  (The Associated Press)

  • Civil rights leaders led by Rev. Markel Hutchins, right, leave the Phillips Arena after a scheduled meeting between Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and Atlanta civil rights leaders was cancelled, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

    Civil rights leaders led by Rev. Markel Hutchins, right, leave the Phillips Arena after a scheduled meeting between Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and Atlanta civil rights leaders was cancelled, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)  (The Associated Press)

  • Civil rights leader Rev. Markel Hutchins talks to reporters outside the Phillips Arena, after a scheduled meeting between Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and Atlanta civil rights leaders was cancelled, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

    Civil rights leader Rev. Markel Hutchins talks to reporters outside the Phillips Arena, after a scheduled meeting between Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and Atlanta civil rights leaders was cancelled, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)  (The Associated Press)

A scheduled meeting between Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and Atlanta civil rights leaders has been cancelled, leading one of the leaders to say his community was greatly offended.

The Rev. Markel Hutchins announced Wednesday's meeting was called off "at the last minute." He later said he received a call from Hawks spokesman Garin Narain on Tuesday night asking that it be postponed.

Hutchins said he needed to hear that request directly from Koonin.

Hutchins and other civil rights leaders asked for the meeting to discuss what he describes as the Hawks' "disrespect for people of color." The request followed racially charged comments by Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry.

Koonin said Tuesday Ferry has been punished but won't be fired.