5 Questions with Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban is the straight but gay-friendly owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who at press time were fighting for their playoff lives going into their Thursday night, May 3 game against Golden State. Although they once were the odds-on favorite to win the NBA crown, the No. 1-seeded Mavericks trailed the No. 8-seeded Warriors 3-2 in their first-round Western Conference series. Despite the drama, Cuban took time out to e-mail the Voice in response to our questions.
After former NBA player John Amaechi came out, prompting Tim Hardaway to say that he hates gays, you were asked on national TV why you thought Hardaway would do that. Your response was something along the lines of, “Maybe he had a fight with his boyfriend.” Can you elaborate??
Just a way of poking fun at stupidity.
You’ve also said that for a gay NBA player to come out would be wise financially. Why?
Because there are a lot of Americans who admire people who stand up to political correctness and come out. It takes courage, and that’s a foundation of the American spirit. That admiration can translate into consumption for products the person is associated with. Combined with the media frenzy that would occur, I believe he would be in position to make a lot of money in endorsements.
Odds are, there are several gay players in the league? Why do you think none have come out?
For the same reasons nonathletes don’t come out. It’s a lot of shit to deal with for people who already have to deal with a lot of shit.
Have you received any backlash from expressing your views on this issue? After all, we are in Texas?
Dumbass e-mails. Lots of those. But many more are supportive.
How do you respond when people criticize you for being “gay-friendly”?
Who says that’s a criticism?
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the GLBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, contact staff writer John Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 4, 2007