At last weekend's MIT Sloan Sports Analytic Conference, Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur Mark Cuban sat down with sports columnist and Grantland.com's Bill Simmons. During their discussion, which was part of Simmons' B.S. Report podcast, Cuban made a joke that has landed him a little bit of hot water.
Carly Carioli at The Boston Phoenix has a good summary of the joke, since the actual bit was edited out of the podcast:
The atmosphere turned even weirder when Cuban began telling the story of how he'd almost fired a Mavs employee for encouraging Dallas fans to do the wave. Cuban hates the wave. "I'd rather have 60 minutes of Kiss Cam," he said, to laughs. Simmons has long been on record as being a fan of the Kiss Cam -- he's even jokingly suggested that it become its own TV show -- and piped up in favor of it. "I like the Kiss Cam," Simmons said.
"That's because you and your boyfriend are always on it," Cuban spat. He quickly tried to backtrack, mumbling something about what he'd just said not being a gender-specific remark.
For the record (and not that it matters) but Bill Simmons is married with kids, with no indication of being gay.
Now, Cuban has been compelled to respond to the remarks, and has issued this tweet:
He explains the situation in a blog post:
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.
In typical Cuban style, he went on to say "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."
We've seen how famous people can get themselves in trouble through Twitter, and it appears that Cuban is using his nearly 1 million followers to get him out of it.