Social media veterans know how to milk controversy for all its worth.
Five days after Mark Cuban had a back and forth with sports broadcaster Clay Travis, Travis is back with a response to Cuban after five days of silence.
After baiting Cuban into respond to a tweet he made about the NBA’s ratings having peaked in the late 90’s, the two gentleman began arguing about the NBA’s stance on China’s human rights violations.
Cuban finally had enough after Travis called him a naughty word.
What would you say to someone in your family who got called a bitch in a disagreement @ClayTravis ?
I’ll tell you what I would tell my kids.
“Whatever the argument is, you kicked their ass. That’s what people who just got their ass kicked do. They start calling you names.… https://t.co/LNNrt6EJZM
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) July 7, 2023
Travis responded this week by saying “Mark Cuban, I am offended that you are a bitch,” before excoriating him for not standing up to China for human rights abuses against Uyghurs.
Mark Cuban of course is a private citizen with very little power to persuade Xi Jinping — the President of the People’s Republic of China — to change how he runs his country, but he is the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and the NBA has deep ties to China.
The NBA is the most popular sports league in China, and in a country of 1.5 billion, the league does not want to do anything to publicly upset the notoriously sensitive Chinese government.
In 2019, former Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey — currently the GM for the Philadelphia 76ers — tweeted a picture in support of Chinese protestors in Hong Kong who were demonstrating to keep the island independent of mainland rule.
The tweet as especially ill-timed because Lebron James — the face of the league — and the Los Angeles Lakers were en route to play a preseason game in China when the tweet was sent.
The tweet was subsequently scrubbed from Morey’s account, and Morey, the league and even James apologized profusely for the “mishap.”
China of course was not happy and league Commissioner Adam Silver estimated that the NBA lost somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 million in the fallout from the tweet.
Nearly four years later Clay Travis at least pretends to care about Chinese human right abuses and Mark Cuban is caught between hurting his business by criticizing China and being called a bad word by Travis.
It’s safe to say Cuban is comfortable with his choice. Watch the full Clay Travis reaction below.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) July 10, 2023