His basketball team has been out of the playoffs for a few weeks, but Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban receives a tip of the cap for making himself relevant again. Because Cuban does not want to address the Donald Sterling issue at all, he did.
Speaking Wednesday at the annual GrowCo conference in Nashville, Tenn., Cuban made some serious headlines by speaking his truth. Click here for the full story from The Tennessean by Shelley Dubois (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cuban warned the audience he would go "full Mark Cuban", and he didn't fail to deliver.
"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."
Cuban's words blew up the Internet, as this quote painted the picture of an African American wearing a hoodie conjured the image of the late Trayvon Martin. Not Cuban's best choice of words, but do not let that deter you from hearing his message.
To make such a strong comment so soon after Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling made so many friends by re-offending the world with his racist comments was brave, maybe tone-deaf, and very Cuban-like.
Cuban's comments are going to be taken as racist, because that is the easy thing to do, but basically he admits to what all of us do consciously or subconsciously - profiling. Time, date, place combined with appearance and the "temperature" of an area affects the way we gauge people. He says he is judging based on stereotypes.
It is one thing to be open-minded, fair and decent, and quite another to be stupid. There is that line.
Cuban has a big mouth with a track record of not exactly showering his employees, other than players or coaches, with money, but he has no resume that suggests he is some racist, bigot a la Sterling.
Considering the three-digit heat that Sterling's comments generated on the never-ending debate of race and fair treatment of all in this country, this is the ideal time for Cuban to make these statements.
There may not will never be a fair and equitable solution to this highly-sensitive issue, but it goes nowhere if people are not at least a little bit honest about their feelings. Cuban was. Don't kill him for it.
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