Cuban, Walker battle over Black Lives Matter on NBA courts during Fox special

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and ex-NFL star Herschel Walker had a fiery exchange during a Sunday Fox News special, with Walker saying he disagreed with professional sports leagues incorporating “Black Lives Matter” messaging and Cuban saying such moves can help end systemic racism in America.

“One of the problems I think that we have is a lot of these sensitive topics we don’t want to address, you know, we don’t want to address these sensitive topics so what we try to do is water them down and try to shout people down,” Walker told host Harris Faulkner on the special “The Fight for America” on Sunday night.

“To say that you’re going to put BLM [Black Lives Matter] on the field or on a jersey, well some people may not believe in BLM,” the Heisman Trophy winner continued.

“For myself … there’s no doubt BLM is important, but American lives are important. … The organization of BLM, I’m not sure what they stand for. And so how could an NFL say we want to support BLM or we’re going to do this here without having the players to say what they want? Because you cannot put that on a player who may disagree with it.”

Cuban noted that NBA players themselves had asked that the words “Black Lives Matter” be incorporated onto NBA courts when play resumes at the end of July. Players have said they want to use their voices when play resumes to ensure more attention is paid to issues of racial justice, and some had openly expressed reservations that returning to play could divert attention from social issues. 

“This is important to our players, it’s important to our fans, but most importantly it’s important to the United States of America that we address these sensitive issues and try to help end systemic racism,” Cuban said.

“I think Mark is totally correct,” Walker responded. “We have to address it, but you don’t address it by saying we’re going to do it without knowing what it is you’re doing. … Mark, and not to question you, but do you know what BLM the organization stands for, besides saying ‘Black Lives Matter’? Because I said one of the things that we have to address is American lives matter.”

“Herschel, they’re not mutually exclusive. Every life matters, but when someone is in trouble you address them first,” Cuban retorted. “The Black community has issues and I think, you know, systemic racism has been here for generations. It’s not going away unless we do something about it.”

A June Monmouth University poll found that more than 3 in 4 Americans, 76 percent, believe racism and discrimination are a “big problem.” That’s a 26-point jump from 2015.

Walker is a staunch supporter of President Trump, while Cuban seriously considered running for president in 2020 before deciding against the idea.

“My family voted it down,” Cuban told CNN’s David Axelrod. “Otherwise I would have.”

Tags Black Lives Matter David Axelrod Donald Trump Fox News Mark Cuban NBA NFL

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