Mark Cuban apologized to the family of Trayvon Martin on Thursday, one day after saying, “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” during the GrowCo business conference at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville on Wednesday.
Cuban didn’t consider that his comments would invoke the tragedy of Martin, the 17-year-old Florida boy who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in February 2012 while returning home from a 7-Eleven convenience store. Zimmerman felt threatened by the teenager who was wearing a hoodie at the time of the altercation. Martin's attire became a central conversation in the murder trial that saw Zimmerman acquitted.
After facing backlash on social media, Cuban apologized for his comments possibly conjuring images of the Martin murder, but the opinionated Dallas Mavericks owner stands by his intended point of showing how people all have their own prejudices.
“In hindsight I should have used different examples,” Cuban took to his Twitter late Thursday afternoon to say. “I didn’t consider the Trayvon Martin family, and I apologize to them for that.
“Beyond apologizing to the Martin family, I stand by the words and substance of the interview,” he added. “I think that helping people improve their lives, helping people engage with people they may fear or may not understand, and helping people realize that while we all may have our prejudices and bigotries, we have to learn that it’s an issue that we have to control, that it’s part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it.”
The drama started for Cuban during an interview Wednesday, where he sounded off on his own prejudices when asked about banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and the racist remarks he made against African-Americans.
“I know I'm prejudiced and I know I'm bigoted in a lot of different ways,” Cuban originally said. “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, I'll move back to the other side of the street. None of us have pure thoughts. We all live in glass houses.”
Cuban will be among the NBA owners at a June 3 hearing to cast votes on whether Sterling will be forced to sell the Clippers.
BET Sports News - Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photo: John Shearer/Invision/AP)