'White People Have to Change': Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Speaks Out on George Floyd Protests

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has added his voice to the growing chorus calling for a drastic social transformation in the wake of George Floyd's death and urged white people to change.

Forty-six-year-old Floyd died on May 25 while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.

Video footage showed a white policeman kneeling on Floyd's neck for several minutes after arresting him, while Floyd pleaded with officers to let him breathe.

A number of NBA, NFL and NHL players, coaches and executives have condemned Floyd's death and have backed protests against racial discrimination and police brutality.

On Tuesday, Cuban waded into the conversation and suggested the white community had a crucial role to play to repair the damaged fabric of American's society.

"Dear white people: We are the ones that need to change," he wrote on Twitter as he retweeted an open letter by Emerson College President M. Lee Pelton.

"This is not one man's story. This is almost every black man's story. Which is why the problem is ours.

"We need to find our way to change what we do. There is no quick fix. It's a moral imperative."

Dear White People: We are the ones that need to change. This is not one man's story. This is almost every black man's story. Which is why the problem is ours. We need to find OUR way to change what we do. There is no quick fix. It's a moral imperative https://t.co/V6VVAlvpB7

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) June 2, 2020

In the letter, titled "America Is On Fire," Pelton called out what he described as the "persistent structural racism that under girds American society and permits the police and others to kill black people is pernicious and ubiquitous."

When pressed over what he planned to do to implement the change he championed, Cuban explained he has learned to treat each individual based on their personal circumstances.

"I used to think treating people equally meant treating them the same," he wrote in a subsequent tweet.

"Like it was a math equation. I was wrong. I'm learning that treating people equally means treating them with equal amounts of respect, for who they are and what they have experienced."

I used to think treating people equally meant treating them the same. Like it was a math equation. I was wrong. I’m learning that treating people equally means treating them with equal amounts of respect, for who they are and what they have experienced. https://t.co/mS58auJZaT

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) June 2, 2020

Floyd's death has sparked protests across the U.S. over the last week, with peaceful sit-ins and marches, as well as violent unrest.

On Monday night, a number of cities including New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., enacted curfews.

However, in Oakland, California, police used teargas to disperse a crowd of approximately 500 to 600 protesters. In the nation's capital, meanwhile, protesters were targeted with pepper spray.

Over the weekend, NBA commissioner Adam Silver also sent a memo to the 30 franchises, indicating the league shared "the outrage" of protesters and that Floyd's death was a reminder of underlying social issues in the country.

"We are being reminded that there are wounds in our country that have never healed," Silver said in the memo, which was obtained by ESPN.

"Racism, police brutality and racial injustice remain part of everyday life in America and cannot be ignored."

Derek Chauvin, the white policeman who knelt on Floyd, was fired last week and has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, before the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on December 20, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mitchell Leff/Getty