Mark Cuban had some things to say about bigotry in response to the Donald Sterling controversy a couple of weeks ago, and he’s now in the middle of a media firestorm as a result. During an interview at Inc.’s GrowCo Conference in Nashville:
“I mean, we’re all prejudiced in one way or another. 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 that we all live up to and are fearful of. So in my businesses, 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.”
People are honing in to the part about him saying he’d walk on the other side of the street when he sees a Black kid in a hoodie or a White guy with tattoos – which is of course notable. I’m still trying to work out my thoughts on all of it as there is plenty to parse out, but I can’t help but think this is just a well thought out attempt to push NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s buttons.
When the Sterling stuff broke, Cuban said he was worried about the slippery slope of what it takes to get an owner removed and he’s consciously testing that limit to see the line Silver will cross in reprimanding owners. This is strictly hypothesis but Cuban is too smart so just get caught up in the middle of an interview saying something semi-racist. I bet Cuban is sitting back and enjoying how uncomfortable he’s probably made Silver today.
Meanwhile, Cuban and Bomani Jones are having a Twitter exchange over the whole ordeal. If this leads to another wonderful, important series of media rounds for Bomani then I’m all for it.
Update: After the media storm and ensuing conversations that took place, Mark Cuban issued an apology. Click here to read.