Mark Cuban is apologizing to Trayvon Martin’s family after saying he would cross the street if he saw a “black kid in a hoodie” approaching him.
“In hindsight I should have used different examples. I didn’t consider the Trayvon Martin family, and I apologize to them for that,” Cuban wrote on Twitter Thursday afternoon.
The Dallas Mavericks owner was referring to an example he used Wednesday during an interview for Inc.’s Growco conference about overcoming his prejudices.
“If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street,” Cuban said. “And if on that side of the street, there’s a guy that has tattoos all over his face — white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere — I’m walking back to the other side of the street.”
Cuban came under fire from critics on social media who said his analogy was too similar to Martin, the unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in 2012.
Three hours before issuing an apology, Cuban tweeted that he was, “‘Wearing a Hoodie and Tweeting Up a Storm’ at SEC Speaks – Compliance Week.”
As for Cuban’s interview, the rest of it focused on the importance of identifying biases that everyone has and not allowing bigotry to influence decisions, and Cuban continued to defend that part of his interview via Twitter.
“Beyond apologizing to the Martin family, I stand by the words and substance of the interview,” he tweeted.
“I think that helping people improve their lives, helping people engage with people they may fear or may not understand, and helping people realize that while we all may have our prejudices and bigotries we have to learn that it’s an issue that we have to control, that it’s part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it.”