Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban‘s new sit-down interview with Inc. Magazine has naturally been misconstrued. In this overly-sensitive, politically correct world we live in, Cuban currently appears to have made ‘insensitive’ comments.
“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,” said Cuban. Most people reading those comments on their smart phone, tablet or laptop are hit with the imagery of Trayvon Martin (another controversial, sensitive race issue), and they might believe Cuban is scared of black people. What those comments don’t show, though, is how cautious, and almost robotic, Cuban looked while making the comments.
Cuban is not shy to show his intelligence, though, so it’s clear he knows the “slippery slope” of making controversial comments in a politically correct world.
And Cuban is an opinionated guy. But in the interview, he’s frightfully trying to walk that seemingly impossible slippery slope and trying to somehow offer critical thinking on a sensitive issue: “It does my company no good, it does my customers no good, it 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’.”
Clearly, without mentioning Sterling’s name, Cuban is speaking of embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Basically, Cuban is saying that he doesn’t have a responsibility to hate Sterling, and that Sterling, in spite of his old-fashioned ways, can be cured. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver — and society — have already begun the process of vaporizing Sterling, so it remains to be seen if those comments will fly.
And more than anything, Cuban is looking out for himself. He knows that he’s made tons of controversial statements as owner of the Mavericks, and he doesn’t want to have to live with the fear of losing his team for speaking his mind. In other words, it’s not easy being a billionaire these days. Times are rough.