Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks, admits that he’s prejudice against African Americans and seems to want credit for being honest.
I’m not having it.
While Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was recently recorded privately making racist remarks toward African Americans, Cuban smugly told Inc. Magazine that he doesn’t trust young black men in hoodies.
“I know I’m prejudiced, and I know I’m bigoted in a lot of different ways,” Cuban said in an interview shown at the annual GrowCo convention hosted by Inc. magazine, according to The Tennessean.
“I mean, we’re all prejudiced in one way or another,” Cuban said. “If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street there’s a guy that has tattoos all over his face – white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere – I’m walking back to the other side of the street. And the list goes on of stereotypes we all live up to and are fearful of.”
Some will no doubt read Cuban’s remarks and commend him for being candid about his feelings on race and black Americans. But Cuban gets absolutely no praise from me for being a self-proclaimed bigot. There’s no honor in Cuban admitting that he’s prejudice while offending generations of young black men.
As the owner of a successful NBA team, Cuban should have evolved by now. But he hasn’t. After Cuban comes to his senses – if that’s possible –he should sit down with his team and explain himself.
“We’re a lot more vigilant in what we … and we’re a lot less tolerant of different views, and it’s not necessarily easy for everybody to adopt, or adapt, or evolve,” Cuban said Wednesday. “So in my business, I try not to be hypocritical. I know that I’m not perfect. I know that I live in a glass house and it’s not appropriate for me to throw stones.”
So what makes Cuban’s thinking about black men in hoodies any different from the attitude of George Zimmerman, who said he shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 because he feared for his safety when he saw Martin wearing a hoodie?
Cuban’s comments about young black men and hoodies – because of the Trayvon Martin shooting — were insensitive, racially offensive, and just plain ignorant.
And here’s another thought: Is Cuban implying that would also be uncomfortable around his own Mavericks players, most of whom are black, if they were wearing hoodies and he didn’t recognize them on the street? How does this impact his players moving forward?
“You can’t keep that ugliness out of the league. There’s no law against stupid–I learned that a long time ago,” Cuban said on Wednesday during the on-stage interview at a conference.
“The thing that scares me about this whole thing is I don’t want to be a hypocrite and I think I might have to be,” Cuban said, likely referring to the expected vote by the NBA owners to expel Donald Sterling. “Being a hypocrite bothers me more than anything, after my family, so it won’t be fun.”
When asked how Cuban would be a hypocrite, he said, “Well, I just sat here and said I’m a bigot. I think we’re all bigots and I don’t think there’s any question about that.”
Perhaps Cuban was moved to admit his own personal racial bias after Sterling was secretly recorded telling a friend not to bring black men to his basketball games and questioned her friendships with black men.
So now that Cuban has acknowledged his bigoted ways, should the Dallas Mavericks players commend Cuban for his honesty or hold his feet to the fire, examine his motives, and question whether their boss is actually a racist.
At least they know where he stands.
What do you think?
(Cuban Photo: AP)