The statement, understandably, sent athletes into an uproar, not just in the NFL, but across the sporting world. Warriors star Draymond Green was one of the players who about the inflammatory statement, saying that McNair sounded "Donald Sterling-esque." Green also added that perhaps it is time to stop using the word "owner," and suggested using "chairman" instead. "To be owned by someone just sets a bad precedent to start. It sets the wrong tone. It gives one the wrong mindset," Green also wrote.
Now, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has told ESPN that he takes offense to Green's comments, and says he owes the NBA an apology. Cuban said McNair's comments were "wrong" and "ridiculous," but felt that Green was taking things too far with his suggestion about not using the word "owner." Via ESPN:
"For him to try to turn it into something it's not is wrong," Cuban told ESPN. "He owes the NBA an apology. I think he does, because to try to create some connotation that owning equity in a company that you busted your ass for is the equivalent of ownership in terms of people, that's just wrong. That's just wrong in every which way.
"People who read that message and misinterpret it -- make it seem like we don't do everything possible to help our players succeed and don't care about their families and don't care about their lives, like hopefully we do for all of our employees -- that's just wrong."
"We own equity. We don't own people," Cuban said. "And there's a big difference. This is a country where we have corporations, and you put up your money and buy equity. E-Q-U-I-T-Y. It translates into shares of stock. People who bust their ass and work hard and get a little bit lucky have enough money to buy enough shares of stock to buy a company.
"If you want to talk about slavery and everything that's important about it and some people who make comments and don't respect other individuals, great, let's have that conversation about people who don't respect others," Cuban said. "But don't try to suggest that because we have a team and the nomenclature is 'owners' because we own shares of stock, own equity, that it's analogous to slavery. That's just as bad [as McNair's comment]. It's just as bad."
Because Cuban treats his players well, he feels it's unfair that he's being lumped in with owners like McNair who say derogatory things about players. And that's understandable, it's a natural reaction to not want to be lumped in with people you feel are worse than you.
Instead of addressing the underlying problem, which is that many owners -- in sports, and business as a whole -- treat their players and employees with a lack of respect, Cuban is complaining about how Green reacted to that problem. His demand for an apology from Green for his wording is not only unfair to Green, but distracts from the very real problem he was trying to bring to attention.