Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says he supports team if they choose to sit out season

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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has completely bent the knee to the Black Lives Matter movement.

During a discussion Thursday on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press: College Roundtable” with a couple of college students, he acknowledged his perceived “white privilege“, accused all white people of also possessing this trait and then vowed to allow his players the privilege to sit out the upcoming NBA season if they’d like.

Watch the full discussion below:

Early on in the discussion, college student Chan’Cellore Makanjuola asked Cuban point-blank whether he’d allow his players to sit out the upcoming season.

“Training for the NBA season restart begins in about two weeks, and there’s been a disagreement among players on the best way to address the current protest on racial injustice,” she said.

“With some players like LeBron James kind of wanting to use basketball as a way to speak out about the platform or about social injustice, but also Kyrie Irving saying that the upcoming basketball season could distract from the movement.”

This is true.

She then asked, “So my question is, as an owner of an NBA team, would you support your players if they choose to sit out this season as a way to support the Black Lives Matter movement?”

In response, Cuban effectively declared his full support for the BLM movement.

Yes,” he replied. “You know, there’s 450 NBA players and it’s their league. I mean, we’re truly a player-driven league. And so yes, you know I’m proud of our players for speaking up. I’m proud of them that this topic is this important to them and they’re really using their platform for societal good, so yes.”

It’s not clear how sitting out a season of basketball would spur “societal good.”

It’s also not clear whether he’s aware that some NBA players’ idea of “societal good” has involved standing up for convicted criminals like Rayshard Brooks, who was seemingly justifiably shot and killed earlier this month after he resisted arrest for a DUI (which can be a deadly crime), stole a taser from the arresting officers and fired it at them.

Look (*Language warning):

Another college student, Parker Jensen, then pressed Cuban about what steps can be taken by him and the NBA to “address these social concerns and actually implement change.”

That’s when Cuban fessed up to his “white privilege.”

“I have talked to my players and tried to listen to them, more than anything else. And I know in our league meetings, that’s been what’s been encouraged, to listen to our African American minority players, because they have standings. It’s their experiences that are educating us all,” he said.

You know it’s a process that’s not moving fast enough and, you know, as you mentioned, the majority of ownership is white, and it’s incumbent upon us to have the tough conversations. You know, the reality right now, Parker, is that it’s very difficult for white people to discuss race. It’s very difficult for us to discuss the topic of white privilege.”

He continued, “You know when we hear it, we become very defensive. And so, we all have a platform as owners in the NBA, but I think the primary thing that I’m trying to do, and I think others, again not talking to them, but hearing from others, is to listen to our players, and really allow them to take the lead because they have their experiences that are educating us all.”

The discussion eventually concluded with another college student, Ghael Fobes, asking Cuban to tell them when he realized he possesses so-called privilege.

“It’s been an ongoing process. I can honestly say three, four years ago, I would have looked at this completely differently, but over the last two years is probably when it’s really resonated with me that my experience is different. You know, it’s not just George Floyd, it’s been happening again over the last couple years,” Cuban replied.

“When I was a kid growing up … I got pulled over by police all the time because I never owned a car that cost more than $200. And they were all junkers and pulling over a kid with long hair and it happened all the time. I never had to worry about, you know, any sort of violence never crossed my mind. And so those types of thoughts, that type of recognition, really is relatively recent for me.”

The reality is that Cuban grew up in a working-class family but rose up through the trenches via hard work and perseverance.

“I grew up in a working-class family,” he himself admitted during an episode of “Shark Tank” four years ago. “People thought I might go work at a mill. My mom wanted me to learn how to lay carpet because she was concerned about my future. Nobody had high hopes for me. But I was a hustler.”

But four years later, the notion of working hard apparently makes one privileged …

Vivek Saxena

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