Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has apologized to the family of Trayvon Martin for comments he made when discussing prejudice and bigotry but says he stands by the point he was making, The Daily Mail reported
In an interview earlier this week with Inc. magazine, Cuban said everyone has "prejudices and bigotries on some level," and gave an example that if he saw a black man in a hoodie while walking on the street, he would cross the road.
"In hindsight I should have used different examples," Cuban wrote in an apology on Twitter. "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 the substance of the interview," Cuban wrote.
Martin, a Florida teen, was wearing a hoodie when he was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder charges under Florida's controversial stand-your-ground law. The shooting inflamed racial tensions, as Martin was black and Zimmerman is part Hispanic.
During the Inc. interview, Cuban said, "I know I'm prejudiced, and 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 to the other side of the street. The list goes on — of stereotypes that we all live up to and that we're fearful of."
Cuban faced a backlash on Twitter, with some comparing his views to those of Los Angeles Clippers' owner Donald Sterling, who has been banned from the National Basketball association for life and fined $2.5 million for racist comments he made that were captured on an audio tape.
One Twitter user said, "Mark Cuban is racist. If I see him walking down the street I'm walking on the other side [because] I'm scared of him," the Mail reported.
Other tweets came to Cuban's defense. "What Donald Sterling did was racist. What Mark Cuban did was acknowledge that everyone has prejudices of some kind. Put down the pitchforks."
Cuban also followed up with more tweets, saying "the point was that before we can help others deal with racism we have to be honest about ourselves. You're trying to make this about a Hoodie. You know damn well it's not. It's about whatever makes you feel threatened," the Daily Mail reported.
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