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Because His Dallas Mavericks Are Out Of The NBA Playoffs, Or…?



Professional sports owners are always working with their team.

It’s non-stop with no off-season.

Some of them need a break.

Jerry Jones ought to take some time off from plunging the Dallas Cowboys into another 8-8 season.

George Steinbrenner got time off after his years with the NY Yankees.

Donald Sterling is about to get a rest from owning the LA Clippers.

Now Mark Cuban, one of the more exciting NBA owners, a guy who shows up at games wearing a black t-shirt at court side like the rest of the 300-level fans, might need a break?

Say it ain’t so.

Boomerpdx knows nothing about Mark Cuban except what’s on television, and it’s enough. Seems like a decent enough guy. Don’t know his race or nationality, but if forced to guess, he’s Cuban?

Recently he’s quoted saying he’d cross the street at night if he saw a black man, or kid, in a hoodie in front of him. He added he’d cross right back over if a shaved head, tatted up, white man was on the other side of the street.

Either Mark Cuban should stay home, or just say he likes crossing the street a lot. He likes the road work.

But it’s more than that. For what he said, some called racism. The smart people said racism is active, not hypothetical, so Cuban gets a pass.

Is this fair, or should he do more?

One baby boomer writer for boomerpdx said Cuban ought to do what he did when answering a racial challenge.

“I was in the Army with a European guy who said he could go anywhere in America. He said he lived in Manhattan and had no problems going to Harlem anytime.

“Why? Because as soon as he opens his mouth everyone knows he’s from somewhere else, somewhere far away. If he sounded Texan it might not work out as well.

“I told him if he could do it, so could I. After explaining the tension between Coos Bay and North Bend on the Oregon coast, everything else would be easy.

“Once I got to my permanent duty station in Philadelphia, I decided to give it a shot. I walked from Center City to Oregon Avenue in South Philly. It’s an American city and I’m an American. How hard could it be?

“Everything started out easy. It changed about twenty minutes in. Was it a bad neighborhood, one to avoid if white? Didn’t know and didn’t care. If my Army buddy could manage, so could I.

“I noticed three guys following, hanging back on the other side of the street, but keeping pace for a few blocks. Were they black thugs? Gangsters? Or like me, just out for a nice walk? I chose the last, then two of them crossed over and waited for me half a block away.

“Crossing the street wouldn’t work for me the way it would for Mark Cuban. Neither would turning around. I was on a mission in the ‘hood and success or failure was a short ways away. What to do? I started with a nice smile and kept going.

“The two guys at the end of the block stood in my way and asked what I thought I was doing on their turf. Turf?

“Sensing they wouldn’t be receptive to my little social experiment to prove a European wrong, I just smiled some more. This made them angry. I hoped they’d think I didn’t speak English.

“One of the guys leaned in and shouted his question about where I thought I was. Apparently he thought I didn’t speak English and I was deaf. Made sense to me. I always talk louder so non-English speakers can understand better.

“When the third man crossed to my side, and folks started noticing our small crowd, I needed to change tactics. The numbers didn’t look good and they thought my smile was mocking them. I had to say something, but what?

“Should I tell them I’m a moron who can’t tell directions? An idiot lost on his way to city hall? For some odd reason I wondered, ‘What would Monty Python do?’

“Something clicked with that last thought and when I opened my mouth an English voice came out.

“OOOOO how lovely to see you today. I’m over from London to visit your beautiful city of brotherly love and here you are. Thank you sooo much. I’ve heard about Philadelphia for years and now I get to see it in person. I feel soooo fortunate. You know, this is much like where I live in London. If I move, this is where I want to live. Don’t you agree? Why should I visit New York, or Boston, or Baltimore? Why bother when this feels so much like home, so cozy and so friendly.

“We could be neighbors, the four of us, yes? We’d go to the pub for pints and pickled polish sausages, right? Where is the nearest pub, by the way, I’m parched. Are you real estate agents? Maybe you could tell me the rent, you know, a ball park figure for a flat? I don’t need much, really, just a bed and bathroom would do. If anything pops up, do let me know. You will, won’t you? I’d be ever so grateful?”

“The four of us stood on the corner, me chattering on like a bad stereotype of an Englishman, the three black guys looking at me like I was from another planet. They spoke among themselves, referring to me in very uncomplimentary terms for an Englishman, and left shaking their heads that anyone would set foot where I was.

“My Army pal was from Hungary and moved with ease through all populations. I was from Oregon and faked an accent to move with ease. It wasn’t easy.”

What would Mark Cuban do if he’d been there? What would you do? Channel Mrs. Doubtfire?





About David Gillaspie
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