Mavs' Mark Cuban Exchanges Twitter Barbs with Sen. Ted Cruz over NBA Ratings

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 7, 2020

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban looks on as the Mavericks play the Denver Nuggets during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Dallas. The Mavericks won 113-97. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

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:

Ted Cruz @tedcruz

Not surprising. Personally speaking, this is the first time in years that I haven’t watched a single game in the NBA Finals. #GoWokeGoBroke https://t.co/ygIp60EKHi

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.

Mark Cuban @mcuban

A US Senator with 3 @NBA teams in his state, employing thousands of people and he is rooting for their businesses to do poorly. This is who you are @tedcruz . Every minute of your life, this is exactly who you are. https://t.co/rnCV3qJTfQ

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.

Ted Cruz @tedcruz

I wish @mcuban loved his fans as much as he loves Chinese money. https://t.co/Wm4qkRMStP

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."

Mark Cuban @mcuban

Shame on me for putting American Civil Rights and Justice, creating jobs, growing our economy and healthcare reform over twitter proclamations. https://t.co/MPMBPVKKgI

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.