Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz recently got into a Twitter argument. The discourse began with a focus on kneeling during the national anthem but later shifted to China and the NBA's relationship with the country. The two men also took shots at each other's manhood.
While Cruz and Cuban took over the conversation, a different person actually started the argument. A radio host from Texas tweeted at Cuban and said that he "is out" the minute one player kneels during the national anthem. The Mavericks owner responded by writing, "bye." Cuban continued and said that the "National Anthem police" are out of control. "if you want to complain, complain to your boss and ask why they don't play the National Anthem every day before you start work," he wrote.
Cruz saw this interaction and tweeted about Cuban without tagging him directly. "Really??!? NBA is telling everyone who stands for the flag, who honors our cops and our veterans, to 'piss off'? In Texas, no less? Good luck with that," Cruz wrote. Cuban saw this tweet and took the conversation to another level. He responded by telling Cruz to "have some balls for once" and speak to him.
Cruz ultimately fired back while talking about another political issue. "Speaking of balls, tell us what you think of China. I'll wait," he tweeted. The NBA had issues with China in 2019 after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for protesters in Hong Kong.
Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta later released a statement saying that the organization does not feel the same way and that they don't want to "offend anybody." Player James Harden also apologized to China. The incident sparked countless reactions on both sides of the issue. China canceled multiple fan events featuring the Los Angeles Lakers while the state-run CCTV opted out of airing NBA games. LeBron James also responded by saying that Morey was "uneducated" on the situation surrounding the pro-democracy protests.
After the interactions on Twitter, Cuban seemingly left the conversation. He did not respond to Cruz's tweet about China on Monday morning. However, one specific tweet from Cruz prompted an even longer response.
"Let’s try simpler. Mark, tough guy, can you say 'Free Hong Kong'? Can your players put that on their jerseys? Can you condemn the CCP's concentration camps w/ 1 million Uyghurs? Can you say ANYTHING other than 'Chairman Mao is beautiful & wise'?" Cruz tweeted.
"I can say Black Lives Matter," Cuban fired back. "I can say there is systemic racism in this country. I can say there is a Pandemic that you have done little to end. I can say I care about this country first and last and If you think I wont criticize China and what they do as it concerns American Citizens watch this https://youtu.be/McgLMUUHs0I and this movie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Hustle.
"But I have never gotten involved in the domestic policies of ANY foreign country. We have too much to do here. Why is it, @tedcruz, that you take such pride in standing up to and speaking truth to the Chinese, but you have no ability to stand up to and speak the truth to @realdonaldtrump?"