Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Republican junior United States Senator Ted Cruz got into a Twitter fight stemming from the politician's remarks about his opinion that the league's social justice messaging has caused its low NBA Finals ratings.
Cruz initially re-tweeted an article from Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity's website regarding NBA Finals viewer numbers, which hit an all-time low of 5.9 million for Game 3 last Sunday, per Sports Media Watch.
He then commented on the piece and provided a hashtag (#GetWokeGoBroke) implying that he felt the NBA's social justice movement played a part:
Cuban fired back at Cruz, who represents Texas in the Senate.
Texas is home to three NBA teams in the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Cuban's Mavs, and the owner accused Cruz of cheering for the league (and by association, the Texan teams and its employees) to fail.
Cruz, a self-proclaimed Rockets fan, then specified his perceived issues with the NBA regarding the league's social justice messaging:
Ted Cruz @tedcruz
I love @HoustonRockets & have rooted for them my entire life. I happily cheer for the Spurs & Mavericks against any non-TX team. But @mcuban the NBA is engaged in a concerted effort to (1) insult their fans & (2) turn every game into a left-wing political lecture. That’s dumb. https://t.co/uKSgvPhEcq
Cuban then questioned how Cruz would know about the NBA's in-game messaging when he said he hasn't watched a game this year while also criticizing Cruz's characterization of what the league is trying to convey:
Mark Cuban @mcuban
You are so full of shit. You haven't watched a game of the finals, how would you know what is being said or done? Since when is a desire to end racism an insult to anyone or political? And you don't think using #GetWokeGoBroke is a partisan insult? Again, this is who you are. https://t.co/uKfHGV7IGc
Cruz then switched topics and referenced the October 2019 controversy regarding the league's response to Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's tweets in support of pro-democracy Hong Kong protestors against the Chinese government.
Cuban gave the last word in the six-tweet back-and-forth, referencing actions he and the league have taken to fight for social justice and grow the economy as opposed to making "Twitter proclamations."
Cuban has held a majority stake in the Mavs since Jan. 4, 2000. Cruz, a 2016 Republican Presidential candidate, was voted into the Senate in 2013.