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Mark Cuban apologizes to Trayvon Martin family

By Tim Reynolds

AP Basketball Writer

LAST UPDATED: 01:14 p.m. HST, May 23, 2014

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban apologized Thursday to Trayvon Martin's family over his choice of words in a videotaped interview in which he addressed bigotry and prejudice.

Cuban even revealed some of his own prejudices in the interview with Inc. magazine, and said he believes everyone has "prejudices and bigotries" on some level. But after his words -- which came with the NBA still dealing with the fallout over racist remarks made by now-banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling -- created a stir in social media and other circles, Cuban took to Twitter to offer his apology.

"In hindsight I should have used different examples," Cuban wrote. "I didn't consider the Trayvon Martin family, and I apologize to them for that."

Cuban also said he stands by the substance of the interview.

Martin was the black Florida teen who was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in February 2012. Martin was wearing a hooded sweatshirt -- commonly called a "hoodie" -- that night, and that particular piece of clothing became a rallying cry for those who demanded justice.

Zimmerman was eventually acquitted.

"We're all prejudiced in one way or the other," Cuban said in the Inc. interview. "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."

When shown that excerpt of the interview Thursday, Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat cringed.

"It's just a sensitive time," Bosh said.

Cuban has not revealed how he will vote on June 3, when NBA owners are scheduled to cast ballots on a motion to oust Sterling and force him to sell the Clippers. Cuban has called the comments made by Sterling "abhorrent," adding that there is "no place for racism in the NBA, any business I'm associated with."

Cuban has, however, cautioned that the Sterling matter is a "very slippery slope."

"While we all have our prejudices and bigotries, we have to learn that it's an issue that we have to control," Cuban told Inc. "It's part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it, not just to kick the problem down the road because it does my company no good, does my customers no good, does society no good if my response to somebody and their racism or bigotry is to say 'It's not right for you to be here, go take your attitude somewhere else.'"

Cuban also told Inc. that he knows he is not perfect, and that "it's not appropriate for me to throw stones." The magazine has a 2 1/2 -minute clip of Cuban speaking about the topics on its web site, along with about an hourlong appearance -- with the Mavs owner discussing many matters -- at its Growco Conference in Nashville on Wednesday.

"We're a lot less tolerant of different views and it's not necessarily easy for everybody to adopt or adapt or evolve," Cuban said.

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serious wrote:
I don't know about anyone else, but I'd walk to the other side of the street also--and what's wrong with saying that???
on May 23,2014 | 05:05AM
lwandcah wrote:
Because in this day and age, political correctness and everyone else's feelings are more important than your own. Feelings and beliefs often are the result of previous experiences and not just what you were taught by family and other influential people in your life. Should you share those beliefs publically? That has to be up to each individual.
on May 23,2014 | 06:51AM
inHilo wrote:
Thanks, Iwandcah. I was thinking like Serious and Cuban but your comment made me realize that we have more responsibilities than just being honest. We struggle with our biases but we don't have to express them simply to add fuel for a possible fire. The "slippery" slope argument is a compelling one but its possibilities could happen in the future; the racism that many in our society face now is a real problem and everything should be done to overcome it now.
on May 23,2014 | 07:04AM
2disgusted2 wrote:
What happened to our first amendment rights? PC killed them? It is indeed our experiences that shape our perceptions. I love Cuban ! I wish i could have him mentor me in a start up!
on May 23,2014 | 12:29PM
thepartyfirst wrote:
When the Oprah called for more black owners in the NBA, the media did not call her out. Why?
on May 23,2014 | 07:18AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Now we're getting to the heart of the problem...
on May 23,2014 | 11:56AM
Grimbold wrote:
Why would anyone criticize Cuban over those remarks? This is a witch hunt ! Fact is that certain stereotypes are supported by the statistics.
on May 23,2014 | 08:07AM
boshio wrote:
Well, Cuban found one moron, him. Never could understand why it is hard to just keep your mouth shut on these issues. He already has all the monies in the world so why even say anything. No one can win with a racist comment.
on May 23,2014 | 06:36AM
GorillaSmith wrote:
Is this a joke? Maybe Cuban should also apologize to all serial burglars (with cell phones full of pictures of the loot they've stolen) who opt to wrestle people to the ground and bounce their heads off the pavement.
on May 23,2014 | 08:16AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
The NBA needs to strip him of his team and force a sale.
on May 23,2014 | 08:23AM
cojef wrote:
"What's good for the goose is good for the gander", heard or saw it some place?
on May 23,2014 | 08:47AM
Bdpapa wrote:
He had nothing to apologize for.
on May 23,2014 | 09:11AM
silvangold wrote:
my biggest gripe is that "these people" say things that #1 they actually mean what they say, even tho it sounds like they're truly bigots (which is truth) or #2 they just say it so they can feel like they ae non-meaningful people who like to see what they say on paper. new rule maybe: anybody say anything they want and no one makes ANY kine deal out of it. no need apologies, no atta boys.... no body needs to feel bad.....NOBODY CARES. ???????
on May 23,2014 | 10:02AM