Here's a sign that your disquisition on race didn't go very well: You wind up apologizing to Trayvon Martin's family. That's the position Mark Cuban found himself in yesterday, after a perhaps-too-candid talk at Inc. magazine's GrowCo conference the day prior. Asked about the Donald Sterling controversy, the Dallas Mavericks owner said he was worried about being a hypocrite. The money quote, which he said in roughly these terms at the conference and reiterated in this video interview with Inc.:
- "I know I'm bigoted in a lot of different ways. 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."
"I'm a bigot," Cuban said at the conference. "I think we're all bigots." Then he predicted, "I'm sure that'll be all over the place," and, lo, that prophesy came true. Critics and supporters have been vigorously decrying and defending Cuban's remarks (there's a good sample at the Dallas Morning News). Many, including ESPN commentator Bomani Jones and CNN commentator LZ Granderson, jumped on Cuban for making a false equivalency between black men in hoodies and white men with tattoos. "One has history and the other doesn't, or the same sort of emotional response," Granderson said. Later Cuban conceded that point at least, in a series of tweets:
- "In hindsight I should have used different examples. I didn't consider the Trayvon Martin family, and I apologize to them for that. Beyond apologizing to the Martin family, I stand by the words and substance of the interview."