Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban: There are More Gay Players and Whether They Come Out is Irrelevant

Marc cubanDuring yesterday’s Dallas Mavericks-Brooklyn Nets game, Mavericks owner and Athlete Ally board member Mark Cuban sounded off on Nets center Jason Collins and the possibility of other gay NBA athletes. The Dallas Morning News reports:

“We already know there’s more gay players in the league,” Cuban said. “Whether they come out or not is irrelevant. It’s just personal preference. There’s no reason to ever, ever discuss anybody’s sexuality because that’s their private business and there’s no reason to start now.”

And for those keeping score, the Nets managed to eke out a 107-104 victory over the Mavs. 


  1. ArchiLaw says

    Except that it’s not all about sex. It’s about relationships. So if an LGBT player wants to talk about his or her family Thanksgiving dinner, it almost certainly requires outing himself/herself. So there IS reason to discuss sexualtiy.

  2. Perry says

    One of the few smart thing Cuban has said. I don’t care about the personal lives of athletes (actors, politicians, musicians, or others in the media spotlight) whether they be straight or gay. Just play your best and win. That’s all I care about.

  3. Lymis says

    I hope I understand what he means – which is that it is up to the player to come out and that fact shouldn’t matter one way or the other to his career.

    But he’s wrong that “there’s no reason to ever discuss someone’s sexuality” if they allow other players to talk about girlfriends, wives, dating, marriage, or who they think is hot.

    If there’s no reason for ANY player to EVER discuss sex and relationships, fine. If there’s no reason for GAY players to discuss it, but every reason for straight ones to, that’s an entirely different matter.

  4. TampaZeke says

    It’s not about Cuban or the athletes or PERRY! Coming out publicly is about that kid in Kansas or Texas or Mississippi who is contemplating suicide because he/she feels alone and doesn’t know anyone who is gay. I used to be one of these kids. I found out, long after I graduated from high school that my very favorite teacher was gay and I had no idea. That was during the most horrible and dangerous time of my adolescent development when I seriously considered killing myself. I remember thinking how different things might have been had I know that the person I looked up to most was gay. This is particularly true of young gay boys who are afraid that being gay means you’ll grow up to be a drag queen or a sexual fetishist (not that there’s anything wrong with either) but some kids just want to know that they will grow up and be just as boring and vanilla and masculine as their straight friends. Athletes coming out is particularly important for these kids. So “coming out” is at the same time personal and universal. As much good as it does for the individual it does immeasurable good for other gay people. I know, in this “ME ME ME ME” world we often forget that it’s not always about ME. When I came out I was very aware that it wasn’t just about me. It was about showing rural Mississippi, and young gay kids in Mississippi, that gay people existed EVEN THERE and that we can be anything we choose to be, from stay at home dad to America’s next drag superstar.

  5. David From Canada says

    Mark Cuban sounds too reserved and repressed on the gay issue. “Personal Preference”!!!??? Retro 1980. I guess someone forget to tell him that it’s now 2014, and people openly talk about such things.

  6. Leo says

    Mark Cuban doesn’t strike me as being a bigot and he has had his moments of idiocy (if some of his public appearances are any indication) but didn’t get where he is by being a full-blown idiot, so I’ll just say that this statement was…misguided.

    I think he actually needs to TALK to an out player (Jason would be great!) to get some actual perspective on the issue.

    By “coming out”, does he mean “out to the team” or “out to the public?” – because in American major sports, that’s the same thing.

    By talking about their personal lives honestly with their teammates, etc. (as ALL the straight ones do) they ARE outing themselves. A private conversation with a teammate about a night out on the town with a boyfriend will end up in the press by the next week or they’ll be discovered regardless – that’s just the way it is.

    They can also freeze their dating life and avoid all relationship conversation for the sake of career if it doesn’t eat away at their emotions. I know it would for me.

    Mr. Cuban, it’s not that simple.

  7. Wisebear says

    Mr. Cuban, “personal preference” is whether I like red wine or white. Gay is how I was born. It’s so easy to say “it’s just how they were born” instead of “it’s just personal preference.” Even allies need educating.

  8. Kenneth says

    Mr. Cuban has been very vocally supportive of gay athletes, perhaps he didn’t chose his words precisely, but that’s no reason to cast this ally aside. Tampazeke, you make a very good statement to the power of coming out. Sure, there is a personal benefit, but there is also a huge benefit to others.

  9. Eugene says

    He’s wrong. It’s not “just personal preference” when players don’t come out because of possible negative consequences – which is almost certainly the case. If he’s considered an ally – well it’s no wonder why there are so few openly gay athletes.

  10. Dan Cobb says

    LEO: PLEASE!! Do not give credit to ANYONE’s intellect JUST BECAUSE THEY’VE MADE A LOT OF MONEY. Believe me, you only need an average amount of intellect to make TONS of money….it’s more about timing, persistence, and just LOTS of good luck! I know!

  11. Perry says

    Obviously there are too many unintelligent people on here who think Mark Cuban is saying being gay is a personal preference. He is clearly saying coming out is a personal preference.

    And no one should be told they need to be a role model because you believe they owe it others. They don’t owe anything to anyone except their family and close friend. Mind your own business and you be a role model for that kid in rural MS if you think it is that important.

  12. says

    This just in: that glitter-encrusted teenage twink you made fun of in the school hallways is more man than most pro athletes.

    It’s frankly amazing that those who complain most about our ‘representation’ are always the same people who give every excuse in the book to never stand up and represent themselves.

    Here’s to a change in culture that will allow more financially secure grown-adult men with strong physiques to find the strength that many of us “homos with targets on our backs” found when we were teens.

  13. Ano Cub says

    Mark Cuban had been quoted as saying that the Mavericks wouldn’t hesitate to sign Collins if there was a need. I was very disappointed to see the Mavericks fail to sign Jason Collins, when they have had (and continue to have) a glaring need for frontcourt depth all season, particularly at the center position. Instead, they continue to keep on the roster a no-talent, ex-military player who can’t even get in a game, simply because that kind of player bio (ex-military) appeals to the fan base in Texas.

    Mark Cuban has a lot of money, and an even bigger mouth. But on this issue, he didn’t have the cojones to put his money where his mouth was.

    And let’s not gloss things over: the Mavericks have a recent history of employing players (D.Godden, T.Thomas) who have had public altercations involving anti-gay slurs. In fact, Cuban himself was caught on tape making borderline homophobic insults to Bill Simmons. To his credit, Cuban apologized and acknowledged the inapprpriateness of his remarks. But to call him an ‘ally’ seems to be considerably overstating his support at this point. He occasionally TALKS like an ally (particularly when the press is assembled, which admittedly is better than some other owners), but his actions don’t come close to matching his words. Yet.

  14. Argentus says

    Irony of ironies is that it was the RUSSIAN owner’s team (BKN) who signed Jason Collins, while Cuban(DAL), Dolan(NYK), Buss(LAL),and Lacob(GSW) all owners in metropolitan areas with large gay populations sat on their hands.

  15. TampaZeke says

    How timely and interesting. A professional American football player in Sweden just came out; and his reason for doing so? The very reason I mentioned above. He did it for gay kids and others who are struggling with accepting and embracing their gay sexual orientation. I’m glad that there are still some people in the world who have a sense of community responsibility. The world would be miserable and even more dangerous if there were even more, “it’s all about me and ONLY me”, PERRYs out there.

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