Earlier this week, Mark Cuban had the following exchange at a taping of Bill Simmons' podcast:
Today Cuban posted this to his blog with the headline, "Am I A Homophobe?"
I certainly try not to be.
I think at some level every single one of us is prejudice. There are things we all innately fear or are uncomfortable with. I don’t know if its nature or nurture, but I don’t believe any of us on this earth is so pure that we absolutely accept everyone as they are.
I do however feel that all of us can learn to accept everyone. I have come to realize, intellectually, that I personally don’t give a shit about your sex life, your spiritual life, your personal life, whatever. I have no problem with you being you. I accept who you are.
I also don’t care who you tell about it or if you flaunt it. I’m happy to take the responsibility to be your friend, your acquaintance or if I don’t like you, what you do or how you do it for whatever reason, to completely ignore you.
That doesn’t mean that I’m always completely sensitive to everyone I engage with. I have my own sense of humor. Things make me laugh that may or may not make you laugh. I’m the first to admit that sometimes my humor runs to the sophomoric. Like my high school buddy Todd, who I still refer to by his high school nickname, Boafy (don’t even remember how he got that name) says, every guy laughs at a fart joke. Not every guy does. But I do. And I’m good with that. I hope I’m 95 and still laughing at dumbass jokes.
But sometimes what I laugh at isn’t appreciated by others. It may even offend them if it comes out at the wrong time.
So why bring this up ?
This past week I did an interview at a sports conference. It was a 1 on 1 sit down. During the conversation the topic of the Kisscam at sporting events came up . The interviewer mentioned it and commented ”I like the Kiss Cam,” In response to the interviewer comment, I said “That’s because you and your boyfriend are always on it,”
Totally sophomoric. I quickly realized that the comment wasn’t appropriate, so I added “”Or his girlfriend, this is gender-independent commentary,”
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 shit 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. I’m the guy who still feels bad about punching Michael Cooper in the stomach in 6th grade purely because he was overweight, even though I made the point to apologize to him when I ran into him at a reunion years later.
Even if I don’t care about you, it doesn’t mean I’m ok with making you uncomfortable or upset with a comment that references anything that is out of your control. That is not the person I want to be.
I’m happy to pick on you if you root for the wrong team. I’m happy to pick on you if you like doing The Wave. I’m happy to pick on you for a lot of reasons. Your sexuality should never be one of those reasons.
I like who I am. I love my life. But that doesn’t mean I won’t always try to be a better version of me
And yes, I feel better having written this blog post