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‘Mark, you’re selling an illusion’: Cuban battles with Clay Travis over Mavericks’ exclusive Covid mandates

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The Dallas Mavericks, the professional basketball team owned by billionaire Mark Cuban, provoked massive outrage this week — as well as a Twitter debate between Cuban and sports journalist Clay Travis — by announcing its own mask/vaccine mandate.

Emailed to season ticket holders and published to the team’s website, the mandate requires game attendees to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

The rule also applies to children unless they’re “under the age of 12 and NOT seated within 15 feet of the court,” according to the policy listed on team’s website.

Meanwhile, virtually all attendees must be masked.

“In accordance with the Dallas County mask order, masks (covering your nose and mouth) are required and enforced for all fans ages 2 and up, unless actively eating or drinking in assigned seat, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status,” the policy reads.

In an email to D Magazine sent Thursday, Cuban, the widely known owner of the team, sought to explain the reasoning behind these mandates.

“We wanted to keep our customers and employees as safe as we can. There are no absolutes with COVID. But based on the data, we have we felt that was the best decision. As the data and science evolves we will re-evaluate our decisions as often as we think it helps,” he said.

The argument left many fans (some of them now former fans) unconvinced. In fact, ever since the Mavericks announced its new policy, both the team and Cuban have faced backlash not only for the vaccine mandate but also the even more inexplicable mask mandate even for the vaccinated.

Look (*Language warning):

But Cuban hasn’t been taking the backlash lying down. He’s been firing back on his critics, not that his arguments have been too substantive.

He’s been feuding especially hard with conservative commentator, sports journalist and radio show host Clay Travis, who’s been relentlessly trying to instill in Cuban an understanding of the power of natural immunity.

Studies have suggested, albeit non-conclusively, that natural immunity acquired from contracting COVID itself offers better protection than the coronavirus vaccine. Yet the Mavericks’ policy makes no exemptions for those with such immunity.

“Why don’t vaccinated people need to get a negative test too, Mark? They have less protection than people who had covid and recovered according to Israeli study of 700,000 people. Vaccinated people are spreading covid widely. This is all cosmetic theater,” Travis tweeted to Cuban late Thursday.

The tweet set off a feud that lasted over an hour, during which Travis sarcastically asked Cuban if he’d like to debate COVID natural immunity with actual clinically licensed doctors like Sen. Rand Paul.

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Meanwhile, Cuban made the case that the immunity provided by the vaccine is greater than natural immunity because of booster shots …

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The back-and-forth exchange ended with Travis accusing Cuban of “selling the illusion of safety and virtue to your customers” and the Mavericks owner never replying.

Vivek Saxena

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