Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke goes after Mark Cuban.
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 National Basketball Association 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.
What the hell?
Cuban shouldn't get a pass for admitting he is an ignorant elitist. During an interview at a Nashville business conference last week, 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."
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."
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."
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 said on his show, First Take.
Smith basically believes it's OK for a rich white man to admit he doesn't trust black people or dudes who look like Miami Heat player and tattoo freak Chris "Birdman" Andersen. In Cuban's world, if he saw one of the black players on the Dallas Mavericks wearing a hoodie in his neighborhood, he would walk across the street.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
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 tries to come off as a regular guy, wearing T-shirts and jeans to basketball games. The truth is Cuban is an asshole just like Sterling.
Tune into Luke on the Andy Slater Show every Tuesday from 2 to 5 p.m. on Miami's Sports Animal, 940 AM.