Mark Cuban:  Naturally, He Was the One…

Mark Cuban everything-pr

With the removal of Clippers owner Donald Sterling, both the NBA and fans coast-to-coast were waiting to hear from “other owners.” That group has been the constant focus for the “rest of the story” during the entire debacle about an owner making racist comments, which were recorded in private and then broadcast to the world. As the story broke and then as it played out and snowballed, media continually reported that it would be pressure from other owners that would eventually push Sterling out of the NBA causing a Crisis PR situation.

But, for the most part, there was little public pressure from other owners of NBA teams and this key group had been silent – except for one. No one was surprised that when the NBA owners talked, there was one guy behind the microphone. Billionaire tech mogul and Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, is no stranger to the spotlight, nor to the repercussions of politically incorrect speech. In the wake of the Sterling crisis, the world waited for Cuban to speak, and when he did they got exactly what they were hoping for. Straight, no BS conversation.

Cuban refused to tar and feather Sterling, though he did clearly describe Sterling’s comments and the mindset behind them as “stupid.” What he did was point the finger back at the paper-thin and self-righteous naysayers  – and opined that we all have prejudices, we all have moments where our thoughts are not pure, and we need to police those things. Bigotry is wrong, but we all live in glass houses. It was a classic line that cut to the heart of the issue.

In short, Cuban took his moment in the spotlight not to coddle, but to teach. The reaction was, predictably, shrill. With the exception of another brave voice, ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, few applauded Cuban’s remarks and he was lambasted for them. Still, both men refused to back down and, in a particularly riveting moment of television, Smith responded to his critics with a diatribe that will go down as one of the best “wake up call” moments in recent history.

Both men entered an incredibly divisive situation with huge public relations implications and, essentially, they told all the handwringers to cut the crap. It is a clear and precise message that is often missing from these conversations and a necessary function of PR in every politically charged conversation.

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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