|Mavericks owner Mark Cuban admitted he made an inappropriate comment about two men kissing. (Getty Images)|
Yes, that was the level that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stooped to during a recent interview with a Grantland.com sportswriter. During a conversation about his likes and dislikes when it comes to in-arena entertainment, Cuban made a regrettable "joke" that was clearly insensitive to homosexuals.
Via Yahoo Sports, the Boston Phoenix sets the stage.
Yahoo Sports noted that Simmons is married with children.
The atmosphere turned even weirder when Cuban began telling the story of how he'd almost fired a Mavs employee for encouraging Dallas fans to do the wave. Cuban hates the wave. "I'd rather have 60 minutes of Kiss Cam," he said, to laughs. Simmons has long been on record as being a fan of theKiss Cam-- he's even jokingly suggested that it become its own TV show -- and piped up in favor of it. "I like the Kiss Cam," Simmons said.
"That's because you and your boyfriend are always on it," Cuban spat. He quickly tried to backtrack, mumbling something about what he'd just said not being a gender-specific remark.
On his personal blog, BlogMaverick.com, Cuban addressed his comment, calling it "sophomoric" and admitting that "at some level I am prejudiced."
Cuban's desire to be "one of the guys," his penchant for cracking wise and his lack of a filter have gotten him in trouble many times before, with the NBA league office and otherwise. But this was not a situation that could be written off as merely, "Cuban being Cuban."
I made a mistake in making the comment. I wasn't trying to be hurtful. It wasn't a comment on anyone's sexuality. It was just me trying to be funny. It wasn't. I quickly realized it and tried to fix it. I hoped at the time I didn't offend anyone.
This blog post is not about trying to defend what I said. I'm not trying to defend my sense of humor. I'm not trying to convince you I'm not a homophobe. I'm not trying to justify anything at all.
I guess what I am doing is admitting that at some level I am prejudiced and that I recognize that I am. There are a lot of things in my life that I need to improve at. This is one of them. Sometimes I make stupid throw away comments that I quickly realize are wrong. It doesn't happen often, but it happens. It was a mistake and I realized it. I learned from it.
I'm the last to be politically correct and the last thing I am trying to be here is politically correct. I honestly don't give a s*** what you think about me. But I think being the person I want to be includes not blurting out throw away jokes about sexuality, race, ethnicity, size, disability or other things people have no say in about themselves.
As a representative of his organization and the NBA, his comment, however flip it might have been, was simply unacceptable.The only way a comment of this sort could be made worse is if it was allowed to pass as not a big deal or brushed off. Pretending that it didn't happen serves the same function as condoning the remark.
Cuban seems to have realized that, perhaps immediately, and he offered more than a bland apology.He had no choice but to own up to it, and he did so without excuses or rationalization. This was a situation of his own making, so his statements are hardly worth celebrating. But his explanation was much better than nothing.