Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he regrets using the word “hoodie’’ during a recent interview with Inc. Magazine.
Among other things, Cuban told the magazine that he would cross the street late at night if he saw a black kid wearing a hoodie, of a white kid with a bunch of tattoos.
In an interview with TNT prior to Tuesday’s game between the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, Cuban said: “I wouldn't use the same example -- that was a mistake. But I don't regret a single thing that I said; I stand behind it 100 percent.
“Other than the examples I would say the exact same thing over again. I’m proud of the fact that it started a discussion on racism, I’m proud of the fact that it created this firestorm and got people thinking about themselves and how they approach it. I would do it again and I hope I get the chance to have this conversation many times.’’
Cuban said he apologized to the family of teenager Trayvon Martin for the “hoodie’’ remark. Martin was killed in February of 2012 while he was wearing a hoodie as he walked through a Sanford, Fla., neighborhood.
“The reason I apologized is because I've met and spent time with his family and when I said it I hadn't considered that they might have to deal with all the media onslaught, and that's not fair to them,’’ Cuban said. “I know his brother, I tried to hire his brother, he's a super smart kid and he's going to do amazing things.
“I hadn't considered the Martins, and I felt bad for that and so for that reason I owed them an apology. And let me be clear, no one asked me to apologize. I did it voluntarily because I made a mistake as far as the Martin family is concerned.’’
Cuban, though, stands by the national debate he created with his comments concerning race and bigotry.
“I don't care if somebody wears a hoodie, I don't care if it's a black kid, an orange kid, a green kid, a brown kid,’’ Cuban said. “Wearing a hoodie is inconsequential to me -- it means nothing.
“I don’t think I’m the person that’s going to create change. But maybe, just maybe, there’s a tiny chance that someone will be reflective on this topic and take the ball and run with it and greater things will happen for this country.’’
-- Dwain Price
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