Mark Cuban was in Tennessee giving a speech on entrepreneurship and made some comments on race that are under fire. From The Sporting News. Emphasis mine:
Cuban commented on NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s recent lifetime ban of Sterling along with the league’s urging that owners force Sterling to sell the franchise with a three-quarters majority vote.
“There is a lot at stake as a whole for the NBA as a business,” Cuban said, saying that he thought it was a necessary move for Silver and the NBA.
“There are no laws against stupid,” Cuban added regarding Sterling’s racist comments. “I learned a long time ago that you can’t talk stupid out of people. You can’t expect stupid to disappear.”
Cuban further remarked to attendees that we all have to fight our own internal prejudices, with the hope that they do not manifest themselves. It is a constant battle Cuban fights as well, saying ”none of us have complete pure thoughts.”
“I also try not to be a hypocrite. I know I’m prejudiced. I know I’m bigoted in a lot of different ways,” he said. “I’ve said this before. If I see a black kid in a hoodie at night on the same side of the street, I’m probably going to walk to other side of the street. If I see a white guy with a shaved head and lots of tattoos, I’m going back to the other side of the street. If I see anybody that looks threatening, and I try not to, but part of me takes into account race and gender and image. I’m prejudiced. Other than for safety issues, I try to always catch my prejudices and be very self-aware.”
Cuban later recounted a story from the 1960s when his uncle served as a superintendent in the Washington, D.C., area. He recalled sitting down with his uncle and being told that everyone was equal, and it was never acceptable to treat people differently based on their creed, race, gender or ethnicity. At the same time, though, it did not mean that certain negative thoughts won’t appear from time to time.
The 55-year-old Cuban said he already knows which way he will vote. While he did not specify one way or another, he alluded to his impending decision.
“The thing that scares me about this whole thing is I don’t want to be a hypocrite,” Cuban said. “And I think I might have to be.”