Mark Cuban on Donald Sterling: ‘People are allowed to be morons’

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said it would be a "slippery slope" if the NBA tried to force Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell his team for making controversial comments about blacks.
(Ashley Landis / EPA)

Mark Cuban called the recent comments about blacks purportedly made by Donald Sterling “abhorrent.”

The Dallas Mavericks owner even went as far as to say of his Clippers counterpart: “He’s obviously racist, he’s obviously bigoted.”

But, Cuban said, even those kinds of people are allowed to own NBA teams in this country. So, therefore, Sterling should not be forced out of the league.


“In this country, people are allowed to be morons,” Cuban said Monday night in Dallas’ locker room before Game 4 of the Mavericks’ playoff series against San Antonio. “They’re allowed to be stupid. They’re allowed to think idiotic thoughts .... Within an organization like the NBA, we try to do what’s in the best interest of the league and that’s why we have a commissioner and a constitution and I think Adam [Silver] will be smart and deal with Donald with the full extent available.

“But, again, if you’re saying a blanket, ‘Let’s kick him out?’ I don’t want to go that far because it’s not about Donald, it’s not about his position, it’s about his mess -- and what are we going to make a decision on?”

Cuban made it clear that he thought the NBA would be better off without Sterling as an owner, but he also said it would be a “very slippery slope” if the league started forcing owners to sell based on comments made in private.

“In no uncertain terms am I supporting what Donald Sterling said, or his position,” Cuban said. “He’s obviously racist, he’s obviously bigoted. And in this day and age when you’re in the public eye you’ve got to be damn careful -- if that’s your position and that’s unfortunately where you’re at -- you better be damn careful what you say, even in the privacy of your own home.

“But regardless of your background, regardless of the history they have, if we’re taking something somebody said in their home and we’re trying to turn it into something that leads to you being forced to divest property in any way, shape or form, that’s not the United States of America. I don’t want to be part of that.”