If there’s anyone who should have walked into the office on Monday morning showering praise upon Hidden Figures, and its three African-American female leads, or taking extensive notes when President Obama gave kudos to his wife during his farewell address Tuesday night, it would be Atlanta Hawks general manager Wes Wilcox.

Last Thursday, Wilcox landed in hot water for for an off-color joke he made during a meeting with 200 season ticket holders.

“I know you guys may be angry with me, but I’m used to it because I have a black wife and three mixed kids, so I’m used to people being angry and argumentative,” Wilcox quipped.

The problem is that nobody laughed and a few in attendance were irate. On Tuesday, the Hawks disciplined him. It’s entirely possible that Wilcox harbors some sort of malicious bias against black women. But sometimes a bad joke is a bad joke and as far as those go, this was the speeding in a school zone of controversial remarks.

The angry or sassy black woman trope in sitcom writing is as ubiquitous as the meek white woman, the crass and insensitive white man or never touching a black man’s radio.

Smart people understand the difference between derisive stereotypes used in off-color humor and outdated opinions expressed in the form of serious commentary.

The Atlanta Hawks aren’t an alt-right basketball think tank.

They’re the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company of NBA franchises.

Prominent members of the front office seem completely bereft of emotional intelligence and possess blind spots in regards to appropriate workplace behavior.

Too often, we treat emotional intelligence as some sort of pseudo-science. There is no MENSA for this trait. But an internal social radar usually guides our interactions.

There’s a time for risqué jokes. The worst time for testing out new material is  while serving in an official work capacity.

It’s apropos that Dwight Howard is their best player and the mascot representative of their organizational character. He’s goofy and has been criticized for that lack of seriousness.

Wilcox isn’t a case of an individual with bias against African-Americans or African-American women.

He has a case of the Michael Scotts.

For the uninitiated out there, Michael Scott was the fictional regional manager of the aforementioned fictional Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch.   NBC’s The Office has been off the air for six years, but it lives on in Phillips Arena.

Steve Carrell portrayed Scott as a compassionate manager and affable personality with a terrible habit.  He was too jocular with employees and rarely conducted himself properly in professional settings.  Essentially, he was often too informal in formal settings.  He was that kooky co-worker who was unaware when to temper his eccentricities and was as comfortable with his co-workers as he would be with his inner-cycle.

You can easily envision Wilcox bumbling his way through an apology for facetiously using “faggy,” as an adjective as Michael did to Oscar.

It wasn’t just Michael Scott. His socially awkward employee Dwight Shrute was often a participant in their workplace antics.

Bill de Blasio, who also has a black wife and children told a CP joke during an appearance alongside then-Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton last year.  It’s not a coincidence he has mixed children and a black wife as well. It’s probably something he’s heard numerous times before.

There’s another side of the coin when it comes to inappropriateness; context matters.  Alabama senator Jeff Sessions’ past of joking about the KKK hindered his confirmation to a federal judgeship. There’s a distinction to be made with Sessions whose sense of humor reflects a pattern of disturbing behavior.

What exacerbated the outcry over Wilcox’s comments is what preceded his promotion to general manager.

We all know a Michael Scott. The Hawks have had a pair occupy the same office. Wilcox and his predecessor Danny Ferry are the Dwight Shrute and Michael Scott of the Hawks front office.

Two years ago, Ferry was forced to step down after an audio recording emerged of him on a conference call using disparaging language to discuss forward Luol Deng, who was a free agent at the time.

“He’s got some African in him, And I don’t say that in a bad way. But he’s like a guy who would have a nice store out front, but sell your counterfeit stuff out the back.”

Ferry’s controversy was bizarre because the words weren’t even his. It was later disclosed that he had been reading an external scouting report about Deng.

Even former majority owner Bruce Levenson wasn’t immune to the racially insensitive atmosphere infecting the organization. The difference is that Levenson was given more slack because of his email’s serious, professional nature.

The contents of Levenson’s email discussed strategies for attracting more white fans to games in an effort to increase attendance and profit. Levenson earned a reprieve because the heart of his email actually came down against prejudiced southerners.

The Hawks changed leadership, but kept the lackadaisical disregard for human resources in place. Few want to be the angry black woman stereotype. Even fewer want to be the oblivious Michael Scott manager archetype. Teams want an executive, not a court jester.  And in a league where reputations matter, the Hawks are striving to be taken seriously. Becoming the butt of jokes is playing with fire.