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Mark Cuban on bigotry: 'We're all prejudiced in one way or the other'

The outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner admitted to having his own prejudices in a recent interview.
By Kate Stanton   |   May 22, 2014 at 8:36 PM   |   Comments

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DALLAS, May 22 (UPI) -- Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner famed for his colorful, frank commentary on a variety of issues, recently weighed in on racism and discrimination in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal.

Speaking to Inc. magazine at a Nashville conference on Wednesday, Cuban said, "We're all prejudiced in one way or the other."

"In my businesses, I try not to be hypocritical," he said of Sterling's lifetime NBA ban. "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."

Cuban admitted to his own prejudices.

"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 said.

Cuban's reference to a "black kid in a hoodie" inadvertently recalled memories of the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was wearing a hoodie when he was shot by George Zimmerman in 2012.

He later took to Twitter to apologize to Martin's family, but stood by his thoughts on racism.

"P/1: In hindsight I should have used different examples. I didn't consider the Trayvon Martin family, and I apologize to them for that," he said in a five-part Twitter statement. "P/2: beyond apologizing to the Martin family, I stand by the words and substance of the interview."

"I think that helping people improve their lives, helping people engage with people they may fear or may not understand, and helping people realize that while we all may have our prejudices and bigotries, we have to learn that it's an issue that we have to control, that it's part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it."

You can watch his whole Inc. interview below:

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At the same event, the Tennessean quoted Cuban as saying that there's no real way to keep the NBA free of discrimination.

"There's no law against stupid," he 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."

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