Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban apologized to Trayvon Martin's family for comments he made about racism — specifically when he remarked that in certain circumstances, if he saw a black man in a hoodie while walking the street, he would cross the road.
At the same time, he didn't backtrack on his view.
"In hindsight, I should have used different examples," Mr. Cuban wrote, in a few Twitter posts, as reported by the Daily Mail. "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."
Trayvon, a Florida teen, was wearing a hoodie when he was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder charges. The shooting ratcheted up racial tensions: Trayvon was black; Mr. Zimmerman part Hispanic, part white.
Mr. Cuban's initial comments sparked a widespread outcry, especially in the face of the ongoing Donald Sterling fiasco, in which the Clippers' owner faces a lifetime ban from the NBA and a $2.5 million fine for racial comments he made to his female companion about blacks that were captured on audio.
The Mavericks owner said this earlier this week: "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."
Mr. Cuban faced immediate backlash.
Twitter users posted this: "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."
But some tweeted messages in his defense: "What Donald Sterling did was racist. What Mark Cuban did was acknowledge that everyone has prejudices of some kind. Put down the pitchforks."
Mr. Cuban himself followed up with more tweets, saying that "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 its not. It's about whatever makes you feel threatened," the Daily Mail reported.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.