Cuban says openly gay player would clean up

Updated: February 12, 2007, 10:03 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Mark Cuban might be the Mavericks owner, but he thinks an openly gay NBA player would be a trail blazer, and a rich one at that.

"From a marketing perspective, if you're a player who happens to be gay and you want to be incredibly rich, then you should come out, because it would be the best thing that ever happened to you from a marketing and an endorsement perspective," Cuban told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for Monday's edition. "You would be an absolute hero to more Americans than you can ever possibly be as an athlete, and that'll put money in your pocket.

"On the flip side, if you're the idiot who condemns somebody because they're gay, then you're going to be ostracized, you're going to be picketed and you're going to ruin whatever marketing endorsements you have."

Cuban was reacting to the announcement by former NBA player John Amaechi that he is gay. The controversial Mavs owner praised Amaechi.

"When you do something that the whole world thinks is difficult and you stand up and just be who you are and take on that difficulty factor, you're an American hero no matter what," Cuban told the paper. "That's what the American spirit's all about, going against the grain and standing up for who you are, even if it's not a popular position."