Outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban raised some eyebrows on Wednesday when he spoke at the annual GrowCo conference at the Omni hotel in downtown Nashville. Never known as a person who holds back to saying what’s own his mind, the entrepreneur had some interesting comments when he was asked about banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
At the conference, hosted by Inc. magazine, Cuban addressed inspiring business hopefuls by sharing his journey and his wisdom about how he became a billionaire. He also offered advice on obtaining and maintaining success. Part of that success is how one relates to many different kinds of people. So when the topic of Sterling came up, Cuban shared his thoughts on the topic of race and perception.
“I know I’m prejudiced, and I know I’m bigoted in a lot of different ways,” Cuban said in the interview. “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 (on the side he now is on), I’ll move back to the other side of the street. None of us have pure thoughts; we all live in glass houses.”
Cuban was not justifying racism, but admitting that he, like everyone, has perceived and somewhat stereotypical views when it comes to race, gender and sexuality. That does not by any means excuse the type of comments made by Sterling, whom was band from the NBA after recordings surfaced of him making racist comments. The timing of Cuban’s comments, however, may not have come at a good time for the NBA as the league is trying to wipe out bigotry.
As an NBA owner, Cuban will have a vote in voting Sterling out as the Clippers owner. When asked about that vote, the Mavericks owner said that he wasn’t ready to comment but he did say he knew how he was going to vote. When asked about how to keep bigotry out of the NBA, he answered, “You don’t; there’s no law against stupid. I’m the one guy who says don’t force the stupid people to be quiet. I want to know who the morons are.”