Mark Cuban, the outspoken Jewish owner of the Dallas Mavericks, apologized to the family of slain teen Trayvon Martin after discussing fears “a black kid in a hoodie” during a controversial discussion about race
Cuban made the apology Thursday afternoon and elaborated on his thoughts expressed during an interview Wednesday with Inc. magazine in a series of tweets, ESPN reported.
“I didn’t consider the Trayvon Martin family, and I apologize to them for that,” Cuban said in one Tweet.
P/1: In hindsight I should have used different examples. I didn't consider the Trayvon Martin family, and I apologize to them for that.— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 22, 2014
Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman as he walked through a central Florida subdivision. A jury acquitted Zimmerman in the slaying.
Despite the apology, Cuban defended comments he made about race and bigotry when asked at a business conference to address the controversy over banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Cuban has come under fire on social media for his statements in a pre-recorded interview shown on Wednesday at the GrowCo convention hosted by Inc magazine. (Video: r.reuters.com/keq59v)
“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 back to the other side of the street,” he said in the interview that was posted on the Internet.
Critics said his “hoodie” reference recalled the 2012 shooting of unarmed, black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he was fatally wounded in a struggle with a man who said he feared for his life.
Cuban offered contrition for the comment but added he stood by his words and the substance of the interview.
“In hindsight I should have used different examples. I didn’t consider the Trayvon Martin family, and I apologize to them for that,” he wrote on Twitter.
Fellow NBA owner Sterling was banned for life from the sport and fined $2.5 million after a recording of him surfaced where he made comments about race that included telling his girlfriend not to bring black people to his team’s games.