Monday, January 22, 2018
Sports

Cuban invokes Trayvon image, apologizes

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban apologized Thursday to Trayvon Martin's family for his choice of words in a videotaped interview in which he addressed bigotry and prejudice.

Cuban revealed some of his prejudices in the interview with Inc. magazine and said he believes everyone has "prejudices and bigotries" on some level. But after his words — which came with the NBA still dealing with the fallout over racist remarks made by now-banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling — created a stir in social media and other circles, Cuban took to Twitter to offer his apology.

"In hindsight I should have used different examples," Cuban wrote. "I didn't consider the Trayvon Martin family, and I apologize to them for that."

Cuban, 55, also said he stands by the substance of the interview.

Martin was the black Florida teen-ager shot and killed by George Zimmerman in 2012. Martin was wearing a hooded sweatshirt — commonly called a "hoodie" — that night, and that piece of clothing became a rallying cry for those who demanded justice. Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, was acquitted.

"We're all prejudiced in one way or the other," Cuban said in the Inc. interview. "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 has not revealed how he will vote June 3, when NBA owners are scheduled to cast ballots on a motion to oust Sterling and force him to sell the Clippers. Cuban has called the comments made by Sterling "abhorrent." He has, however, cautioned that the Sterling matter is a "very slippery slope."

"While we all have our prejudices and bigotries, we have to learn that it's an issue that we have to control," Cuban told Inc. "It'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, does my customers no good, 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.' "

Cuban also told Inc. he knows he is not perfect and "it's not appropriate for me to throw stones."

Thunder-Spurs: All the Thunder can do now is cling to history. Two more victories by the Spurs in the Western Conference final and Kevin Durant and the Thunder will be just that. Oklahoma City staggered home down 0-2, smarting from a 112-77 rout in San Antonio late Wednesday. It's the same deficit the Thunder faced against the Spurs in the 2012 West final before it won four straight and advanced to the Finals. "We've been there before," Durant said. "You know, we try not to just say since we were down 0-2 two years ago and we end up winning, we'll do the same thing. We've really got to figure it out on how we need to get better, and we've always done that."

George update: Pacers forward Paul George was kept out of contact drills because of a concussion. It was uncertain whether he would be cleared to play in Saturday's Game 3 of the East final in Miami.

Coach interviews: Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger met with Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders about the team's coaching vacancy, the Associated Press reported. Joerger went 50-32 this season, his first with Memphis. But with the front office in turmoil, he is considering leaving to take the Minnesota job in his home state.

All-rookie: Philadelphia's Michael Carter-Williams was the only unanimous choice to the team. Orlando's Victor Oladipo, Utah's Trey Burke, Brooklyn's Mason Plumlee and New York's Tim Hardaway were the other selections.

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