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Stretching the Field: Cuban throws gas on the fire

By Shawn Clarke, Contributing Editor

(SportsNetwork.com) - What would you do if you saw a black kid in a hooded sweatshirt walking toward you late at night in Allentown, Pennsylvania, or Compton, California?

If you could determine the gender and race of a person on the street late at night, then call the Fantastic Four because they could use a new member.

Apparently, Dallas Mavericks affluent and assertive owner Mark Cuban has super-human vision when walking the streets after dark and would cross over to the other side if he saw a black kid approaching him donning a hoodie.

Not to leave out other stereotypes, Mr. Cuban would do the same if a bald white guy loaded with tattoos enters his vision.

Jim Brighters, the NBA Editor for The Sports Network, is fashionably bald and has some ink, so would Cuban bounce across the alley to avoid him? Probably, because he doesn't know Brighters personally. But if he did, Cuban would understand Brighters is a kind, gentle and sensitive human being.

First of all, when does Cuban walk the streets at night without security? And what neighborhood is he in? Cuban has enough money to feed a small country and probably has a personal driver or large men to watch his back whenever he hits the town. So when Cuban was interviewed recently and talked about how he's prejudiced and bigoted, it put the NBA under a poor light once again.

As if current Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's saga wasn't a big enough black eye on the league.

Cuban is an intelligent, successful and emotional man. He is what can be described as the Jerry Jones of the NBA, an owner who has no qualms about getting too involved with his precious investment. Cuban believes "we're all bigots" and there's a part of him that "always takes into account race, gender and age."

All three play a huge role in our world in any capacity and it's nice how the Mavs' popular owner can speak for an entire nation.

Bravo, Mr. Cuban, you hit the nail on the head (yawn).

Cuban continued to dig himself into a bigger hole during the interview at Inc. Magazine's GrowCo conference in Nashville, Tennessee. He did say NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had to slap a lifetime ban on Sterling for his racist remarks toward African Americans. Well, duh. Most of the league's stars and the majority of rosters are composed of black players.

He went on to say Silver's action is a slippery slope. Agreed. The next time somebody decides to slander other human beings because of race, color or creed, they should be banned. How insensitive can one be in this day and age?

"You can't keep that ugliness out of the league. There's no law against stupid ... I learned that a long time ago," Cuban said.

Much like Cuban's investments, there's more.

"The thing that scares me about this whole thing is I don't want to be a hypocrite and I think I might have to be," Cuban said. "Being a hypocrite bothers me more than anything, after my family, so it won't be fun."

Cuban and his concern with being tabbed a hypocrite is most likely stemming from an expected vote by NBA owners on the future of Sterling and his prized Clippers franchise. Silver is hoping to get three-quarters of the league's owners to vote Sterling out of the NBA and some players may boycott games next season if the Clippers' owner is still running the team.

Cuban hasn't revealed how he will vote in June, but many wonder. He did say Sterling's comments were "abhorrent" when that bomb was dropped. Sterling since has claimed he is not a racist and is clearly trying to save face after audio of him urging his girlfriend not to bring African-Americans to Clippers games and disparaging Magic Johnson was first published by TMZ. Deadspin.com later posted a longer clip.

Whether you take offense to Cuban's remarks or not, he was not speaking for the rest of the nation even if he thought he was. We're all bigots, Mr. Cuban? Do you have a mouse in your pocket along with a wad of bills.

The entrepreneur, who issued an apology for his hoodie remark, isn't in favor of racism even though he came off as such with his statements.

"If I see anybody that looks threatening, and I try not to, but part of me takes into account race and gender and image," Cuban said. "I'm prejudiced. Other than for safety issues, I try to always catch my prejudices and be very self-aware."

Step one for Cuban is voting against Sterling in a few weeks.

Cuban wants to give people the chance to improve themselves when it involves stereotypes and help them overcome the fear of the unknown. It's simply an issue we have to control, according to Cuban, who said ignoring the problem and kicking it "down the road" is not part of his responsibility as an owner and it does his company, customers and society no good.

What if the problem is wearing a hoodie on the street at night?

05/23 13:03:23 ET

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