'I know I'm prejudiced': Cuban candid about bigotry in speech
MAY 22, 2014 9:38a ET
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been outspoken about the Donald Sterling controversy from the get-go.
On Wednesday, the Mavs owner spoke at the GrowCo conference in Nashville and addressed many topics, but the issue of Sterling and racism were broached, and he was candid.
Here are excerpts from The Tennessean:
On whether he will vote to oust Clippers owner Donald Sterling: "You'll find out. I know how I'm going to vote, but I'm not ready to comment on it."
On how to keep bigotry out of the NBA: "You don't. There's no law against stupid."
On stupidity in general: "I'm the one guy who says don't force the stupid people to be quiet — I want to know who the morons are."
On bigotry in general: "I know I'm prejudiced and I know I'm bigoted in a lot of different ways. If I see a black kid in a hoodie on my side of the street, I'll move to the other side of the street. If I see a white guy with a shaved head and tattoos, I'll move back to the other side of the street. None of us have pure thoughts; we all live in glass houses."
Much of the reaction in the wake of Cuban's comments has supported his willingness to be frank on a sensitive subject, but invoking "a black kid in a hoodie" brought the recent Trayvon Martin shooting case to many peoples' minds. Cuban later apologized for that imagery but stood by his general comments:
P/1: In hindsight I should have used different examples. I didn't consider the Trayvon Martin family, and I apologize to them for that.— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 22, 2014
P/2: beyond apologizing to the Martin family, I stand by the words and substance of the interview.— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 22, 2014
The quotes have picked up some traction, and Cuban has taken issue with the way some outlets have presented them.
. @Locs_n_Laughs you have no idea what I actually said, do you?— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 22, 2014
. @bomani_jones how can you know if I made my points 'in parts' if you haven't actually watched the interview to know what I said?— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 22, 2014
@mcuban read the quotes from it. if i misinterpreted anything, feel free to let me know. if you have time to talk, dm me your info, please.— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) May 22, 2014
@bomani_jones so you felt it was legit to jump to conclusions on this topic with out knowing what I said? The abridged version was enough?— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 22, 2014
@mcuban i think you missed a tweet. i have watched the whole interview, and i still stand by what i said. sorry for the confusion.— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) May 22, 2014
. @bomani_jones the point was that before we can help others deal w racism we have to be honest about ourselves.— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 22, 2014
. @bomani_jones you're trying to make this about a Hoodie. You know damn well its not. It's about whatever makes You feel threatened— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 22, 2014
Here is a clip of the interview:
From the start of the scandal, Cuban has tried to make clear he has been somewhat torn about this issue, or at least realizes it is complicated.
"I think there's a (league) constitution for a reason, right?" Cuban said a month ago. "Because this is a very slippery slope. What Donald said was wrong. It was abhorrent. There's no place for racism in the NBA, any business I'm associated with, and I don't want to be associated with people who have that position.
"But at the same time, that's a decision I make. I think you've got to be very, very careful when you start making blanket statements about what people say and think, as opposed to what they do. It's a very, very slippery slope.
"Again, there's no excuse for his positions. There's no excuse for what he said. There's no excuse for anybody to support racism. There's no place for it in our league, but there's a very, very, very slippery slope."
Cuban later said he supported the decision to ban Sterling once commissioner Adam Silver handed down the punishment. NBA owners are set to vote June 3 on Sterling.