Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has given an impassioned defense of football at a Dallas news conference. In his opening statement he said that the NFL had more than 200 unique million viewers last season.
"Hundreds of thousands of them were possible criminals and watching football kept them off the streets and thereby lowered the national crime rate," he said.
In the statement read by Cuban he said of many NFL athletes, although they are barely literate and speak far below sub-standard English, "Without teachers making them do some school work so they could play ball, they would simply be only able to make the prehistoric, guttural sounds that they now make on the football field on Sundays."
He also pointed to racial integration, the inter-dependence taught by the game, and "the wonderful sacrifice of taking repeated blows to the head for the good of the team" as the positives of football.
During the conference he pointed out that only three out of ten NFL players would suffer from permanent, severe brain damage according to NFL court documents. He also stated broken bones, torn ligaments, compound fractures, and the chronic pain that leads to drug addiction are a "badge of masculine honor in American society."
A reporter asked Cuban what he thought of the famous sports columnist Greg Easterbrook's statement "Football is the perfect game for the U.S. because it's loud, crazy and violent."
Cuban responded the he agreed because football is a "sublimated war where we don't just pantomime violence, we do it: It's is brutal, sadistic, and cruel. That's why the crowd explodes in joy when a vulnerable receiver running over the middle is crippled by a vicious tackle."
In response to reporter's questions the Dallas Maverick's owner argued that America has been involved in both big and little wars ever since World War II ended so that "our stadium war games fit right into and reflect American values."
When a female reporter became hostile toward Cuban, virtually shouting, that one-half of all arrests for violent crimes for NFL players was for domestic violence and that the NFL had a long history of tolerating it, he responded, "Once again we're just reflecting American culture where one out of four women will be victims of domestic battering in their lifetimes and the country tolerates it. Hardly any arrests are made."
But the reporter, Mary Daly of the Associated Press, persisted in her questioning. "Mr. Cuban, you have been defending a definition of masculinity that is comprised of aggressiveness, domination, and violence…"
Cuban interrupted her, "So what do we do, change what it means to be a man in America?"