Mark Cuban: White People Must Have Uncomfortable Talks About White Privilege

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 9, 2020

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 22: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban watches on from behind the bench during the second half of an NBA game against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on February 22, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban believes white people must be willing to have uncomfortable conversations about their privilege as the nation continues to protest for racial equality in the wake of George Floyd being killed while in the custody of then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25. 

Cuban addressed the subject of white privilege during an invitation-only event called "Courageous Conversation" to discuss disparities facing black communities, via ESPN's Tim MacMahon:

"I need all of us to really open up and talk to each other, even when it's difficult. Even when it's not something we're comfortable with, particularly those of you who look like me, the white people. Because it's hard to discuss race when you're white.

"The reality is, to be brutally honest, when people talk about white privilege, we get defensive. We all have this mechanism that I call manufactured equivalency to try to protect ourselves. We'll say, 'I have a lot of black friends.' We'll say, 'I grew up in a mixed community, so I'm not like that. I can't possibly be someone who takes advantage of white privilege,' and manufacture this equivalency.

"It's incumbent on us to stop doing that, because that doesn't move us forward when we do that. That's part of having a courageous conversation."

Cuban is one of many prominent sports figures who has talked about the need for more open dialogue in order to make forward progress in the fight against systemic racism. 

In an article for the Players' Tribune, Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma wrote about why "speaking up and trying to EDUCATE people matters" because all of the people currently marching in protests "actually want to see s--t CHANGE."

Cuban took part in a vigil for Floyd in Dallas at Freedman’s Cemetery on May 31.