Mark Cuban wouldn't reveal how he plans to vote on Clippers
owner Donald Sterling's termination. (Mark Halmas/Icon SMI)
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban admitted having his own prejudices and being bigoted "in a lot of different ways."
In an interview with Inc. magazine at the GrowCo convention on Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn., Cuban spoke candidly about the topic.
"In this day and age, this country has really come a long way putting any type of bigotry behind us, regardless of who it's toward," Cuban said during a videotaped interview. "We've come a long way, and with that progress comes a price. We're a lot more vigilant and we're a lot less tolerant of different views, and it's not necessarily easy for everybody to adapt or evolve.
"We're all prejudiced in one way or the other. 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."
Cuban said he's proactive in confronting bigotry at the companies he runs.
"In my businesses, I try not to be hypocritical," he said. "I know that I'm not perfect. I know that I live in a glass house, and it's not appropriate for me to throw stones. When I run into bigotry in organizations I control, I try to find solutions. I'll work with people, send them to sensitivity training, I'll try to give them a chance to improve themselves. ... [I]t's part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it, not just to kick the problem down the road. Because 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.'"
The Tennessean also quoted Cuban as saying at the conference that "I know I'm prejudiced and I know I'm bigoted in a lot of different ways. ... None of us have pure thoughts. We all live in glass houses."
On Thursday, Cuban used Twitter to question one website's interpretation of his statements and engage others about the context of his remarks.
Cuban's comments at the conference came two days after the NBA initiated a charge to terminate Donald Sterling's ownership of the Clippers. The league's process allows Sterling to respond to this charge by Tuesday. The disgraced Clippers owner, who was caught on tape making a series of racist remarks, can also make his case at a hearing conducted by the NBA's Board of Governors on June 3. A three-quarters vote by the Board of Governors to "sustain" the charge would terminate "all ownership interests in the Clippers," the league said in a statement, freeing up the franchise to be sold.
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Cuban said he knows how he'll vote but isn't prepared to comment. On the topic of how to keep bigotry out of the NBA, Cuban, according to The Tennessean, said, "You don't. There's no law against stupid.
"I'm the one guy who says, 'Don't force the stupid people to be quiet.' I want to know who the morons are."
UPDATE: 5:17 p.m. ET
In response to backlash from his comments, Cuban has apologized for an example he used to illustrate a point to Inc. magazine, but stood by the rest of his remarks: