Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has never been afraid to speak his mind, even when it comes to embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and the sensitive issue of race.
Cuban lived up to his reputation on Wednesday in a video interview with Inc.com, speaking about the “prejudices and bigotries” in American society and urging people to recognize their own prejudices before criticizing others.
On Friday, the Mavericks owner spoke publicly for the first time since those comments and defended his views, arguing that there is never a “good time” to talk about race.
“As far as people saying, ‘Well, it’s a sensitive time,’ there is no non-sensitive time when it comes to race,” Cuban told a radio station in Dallas. “Maybe I’m wrong, but the best time in my opinion to talk about it is when it’s the center of attention, when it’s a mainstream topic that a lot of different people are discussing.”
Race has certainly been at the center of the discussion in the NBA, several weeks after Sterling was recorded telling his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, that he didn’t want her to bring black people to games.
Sterling has been almost universally criticized by NBA owners in the wake of those comments, but Cuban has been one of the few who has taken a different view.
“I knew that anytime somebody wants to speak honestly about race, there are going to be some people that don’t appreciate it, don’t like it. That’s just the way it goes.”
The owners will vote on June 3 to determine whether to terminate Sterling’s ownership of the team.
“I’m going to keep an open mind, and I’m going to listen and decide what I decide,” Cuban said of the vote.