In an Instagram post last week, Golden State Warriors’ forward Draymond Green took issue with the meaning of the word ‘owner’ in professional sports. And in a conversation with ESPN, Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban said the outspoken player “owes the NBA an apology.”
Part of Green’s original post was a response to the comments made by Houston Texans’ owner Robert McNair, who said the NFL “can’t have inmates running the prison,” at a meeting between players, ownership and league officials several weeks ago.
Here is part of Green’s response: "For starters, let's stop using the word owner and maybe use the word chairman," Green posted. "To be owned by someone just sets a bad precedent to start. It sets the wrong tone. It gives one the wrong mindset."
Cuban told ESPN that the comments made by the Texans’ owner were “wrong,” and “ridiculous.”
He then made it clear that he had a problem with Green’s comments.
“"People who read that message and misinterpret it — make it seem like we don't do everything possible to help our players succeed and don't care about their families and don't care about their lives, like hopefully we do for all of our employees —that's just wrong,” Cuban told ESPN.
He then expressed displeasure that Green had made a sweeping connection between the title of ownership and slavery.
"If you want to talk about slavery and everything that's important about it and some people who make comments and don't respect other individuals, great, let's have that conversation about people who don't respect others," Cuban said. "But don't try to suggest that because we have a team and the nomenclature is 'owners' because we own shares of stock, own equity, that it's analogous to slavery. That's just as bad [as McNair's comment]. It's just as bad.
“Don't ask me. Ask anybody who's ever played for me. Ask anybody who's ever worked for me. I'm far from perfect, but that's certainly not a connotation that you're going to hear from anybody that I've ever been associated with. I've been brutally honest about racism and how we have to work hard to overcome it, but to suggest that an NBA team is some sort of ... I'm not even going to go there."