Mark Cuban caused a stir when attempting to address racism and bigotry. During an interview with Inc., Cuban addressed the Donald Sterling situation by saying that everyone has their own prejudices.
“We’re all prejudiced in one way or the other,” Cuban said.”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.”
Many individuals voiced their displeasure with Cuban on social media because of the specific language used in his statement. The “black kid in a hoodie” quote reminded some of George Zimmerman’s acquittal of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Cuban retracted his statement by saying, “In hindsight I should have used different examples. I didn’t consider the Trayvon Martin family and I apologize to them for that.”
But while Cuban caught backlash for the “black kid in a hoodie” statement, his entire argument was flawed and misplaced when considering Sterling’s issue.
Cuban also said, “It does no good to respond to racism or bigotry by telling them to go take their attitudes somewhere else.”
But crossing the street when approached by someone you don’t know is a lot different than being a billionaire and affecting lives through discrimination. Of course, most people are often uncomfortable with individuals who they’re unfamiliar with in certain circumstances.
But for three decades, Sterling has a record of creating hostile environments that were predicated on race. The housing discrimination that he and his wife enforced to keep out black and Mexican tenants, and the racism that was described by former Clippers’ GM, Elgin Baylor, are clear examples of bigotry in action.
This is why Cuban’s entire statement didn’t make much sense when considering Sterling and his past and presence. It’s beyond the thought of being scared of a black kid with a hoodie or white guy with tattoos.
When someone is in a position to control the lives of others, that’s when the racist ideas and bigot thoughts are most harmful.
On June 3, Cuban and other NBA owners will vote to force Sterling to sell the Clippers. Throughout the ordeal, Cuban has referenced that ousting Sterling could be a “slippery slope” and appears to be on the fence about the idea. Let’s just hope that other NBA owners realize why it’s imperative for the league to get rid of Sterling completely.