Why Did Billionaire Mark Cuban Disrespect Black Owners of FRSH on Shark Tank?

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Photo: Christopher Willard/ABC
Billionaires are so funny. They are the richest people in the world yet have some of the most fragile personalities. You may think I'm talking about the new owner of Twitter, but actually I'm referring to Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
In the seventh episode of Shark Tank season 14, brothers Donovan and Trey Brown appeared on the show to introduce their air freshener company, FRSH. The brothers, who graduated from Howard University, sell air fresheners with NBA logos and other funny quotes like "Picture Me Rolling", "Life is a Highway" and "Drive Slow Homie".
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During their pitch, they showcased a variety of their most popular air fresheners. One of the owners sniffed one of their Golden State Warriors NBA air fresheners and said, “This smells like winnings. I'm sorry, Markus."
Then the mood in the room changed.
After FRSH's owners gave out samples, the Sharks noticed that Cuban was quieter than normal. He also visibly cooked. Then he let her have it! "Stupidest marketing move ever," he said, before voicing something no Shark Panzer candidate ever wants to hear. "I'm out. Seriously! You have to read the room. Wrong move, wrong time."
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When asked by the other sharks why he was so angry, Cuban said, "What do you think?! The only air freshener of the NBA is the team that beats us in the finals of the NBA conference. You have to know that it could backfire.”
Look, the Brown brothers could have brought a Dallas Mavericks-style air freshener, but they didn't. They brought one for the NBA's most popular team that just won the friggin' NBA Finals. Cuban could have made fun of it and played along, but why get mad just because they brought a Warriors-style air freshener? It was not necessary.
If you want to be mad at anyone, be mad at your team for not beating the Golden State Warriors at the 2022 Western Conference Finals. The Mavericks lost that streak in five games and the only player to keep coming back for Dallas was superstar guard Luka Dončić. Get mad at your team for being inconsistent from the three-point line. Be mad that they couldn't defend themselves.
Rather than being sensitive, Mark could have used this opportunity as a coaching moment and taught them that they need to approach their potential investors. Instead, he used it as a moment to embarrass her on national television.
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Mark Cuban
American investor and entrepreneur (born 1958)

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