Entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban apologized to the Travyon Martin family via Twitter Thursday for comments made at a Nashville event this week.
At the GrowCo conference Wednesday, Cuban spoke on a number of topics, including racial politics and the controversy surrounding Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
He 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 on my side of the street, I'll move to the other side of the street. If I see a white guy with a shaved head and tattoos, I'll move back to the other side of the street. None of us have pure thoughts; we all live in glass houses."
On Thursday afternoon, Cuban took to Twitter with the following statement:
"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," Cuban said in a series of tweets.
"I think that helping people improve their lives, helping people engage with people they may fear or may not understand, and helping people realize that while we all may have our prejudices and bigotries. We have to learn that it's an issue that we have to control, that it's part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it." oop, too bad you didn't say that in your initial statement
Martin was the black Florida teen who was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in February 2012. Martin was wearing a hooded sweatshirt — commonly called a "hoodie" — that night, and that particular piece of clothing became a rallying cry for those who demanded justice.
Zimmerman was eventually acquitted.
When shown that excerpt of the interview Thursday, Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat cringed.
"It's just a sensitive time," Bosh said.
Cuban has not revealed how he will vote on June 3, when NBA owners are scheduled to cast ballots on a motion to oust Sterling and force him to sell the Clippers. Cuban has called the comments made by Sterling "abhorrent," adding that there is "no place for racism in the NBA, any business I'm associated with."
Cuban has, however, cautioned that the Sterling matter is a "very slippery slope."
"While we all have our prejudices and bigotries, we have to learn that it's an issue that we have to control," Cuban told Inc. "It's part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it, not just to kick the problem down the road because it does my company no good, does my customers no good, does society no good if my response to somebody and their racism or bigotry is to say 'It's not right for you to be here, go take your attitude somewhere else.'"
Cuban also told Inc. that he knows he is not perfect, and that "it's not appropriate for me to throw stones." The magazine posted about a 2½-minute clip of Cuban speaking on its web site.
"We're a lot less tolerant of different views and it's not necessarily easy for everybody to adopt or adapt or evolve," Cuban said.