At a business conference this week, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and investor on the television series Shark Tank, spoke out about the Donald Sterling scandal and decided he would share some controversial opinions of his own about racism and bigotry.
Cuban argued, “We’re all prejudiced in one way or another,” and then made a shocking reference to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old Florid boy shot and killed while wearing a hooded sweatshirt by neighborhood watch guard George Zimmerman in 2012.
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.”
After his interview went viral and the backlash began, Cuban took to Twitter to apologize to Trayvon Martin’s family and accompanied the apology with an assertion that he still stands by his statement.
“In hindsight, I should have used different examples. 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 the substance of the interview,” tweeted Cuban on Thursday.
While Cuban makes a valid point about the status of prejudice and bigotry in society, some critics may still feel his apology was poorly executed and reflected an obliviousness to how heartless his comment about Trayvon was, and the emotional impact that it could have on the Martin family.