Let me get this straight. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is secretly recorded making bigoted comments about African-Americans, and he's banned from the NBA for life. But his buddy and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban admits he's a bigot during an on-camera interview, and now African-American sports pundits such as Stephen A. Smith are praising him for being honest.
Cuban shouldn't get a pass for admitting he's an ignorant elitist. During an interview at a Nashville business conference last week, he 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."
He also said bigotry can't be kept out of the NBA. "There's no law against stupid," Cuban said. "I'm the one guy who says don't force the stupid people to be quiet. I want to know who the morons are."
Mark Cuban Is Worse Than Donald Sterling
I guess Cuban doesn't know he is one of the stupid people. At least he's acknowledging his hypocrisy. In 2009, he praised Sterling in ESPN The Magazine: "I like Donald. He plays by his own rules." But when NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned the Clippers owner, Cuban tweeted, "I agree 100% with Commissioner Silver's findings and the actions taken against Donald Sterling."
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Soon after Cuban's interview was published, he was on Twitter again, apologizing to the family of Trayvon Martin, the Miami Gardens teenager killed because he was wearing a hoodie late one rainy night. Yet Cuban stood by the substance of his interview.
Then you have Smith, playing the role of house Negro on ESPN, defending Cuban: "I took no issue whatsoever with what Mark Cuban said... not only because he was forthright, very candid, and honest... but also he happens to be correct."
Smith basically thinks it's OK for a rich white man to admit he doesn't trust black people or dudes who look like Heat player and tattoo freak Chris "Birdman" Andersen. Cuban is celebrated for publicly declaring his bigotry. But his friend Sterling gets the boot because he got caught on tape being a racist.
Cuban gets away with it because he's media-friendly and comes off as a regular guy, wearing T-shirts and jeans to games. The truth is Cuban is an asshole just like Sterling.