ESPN host gives impassioned defense of his defense of Mark Cuban

Sportswriter and ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith works without much of a filter — and often remarks on culture — frequently inspiring some passionate debate. His defense of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s comments about racial prejudice attracted pushback, and he went right back at his critics Friday.

“‘Stephen A. Smith is a sellout,’ ‘Stephen A. Smith is an Uncle Tom,’ ‘Stephen A. Smith ain’t black,’ ‘You ain’t one of us’ — these are the kinds of things that were said to me yesterday. Twitter, emails — you know, friends didn’t say that to me, what they did was they called up and tried to talk to me, to challenge me on my points of view,” Smith said. “Those that are in my inner circle, family, friends, loved ones, they know I have nothing but love for them, and I appreciate where they’re coming from. But when I say I don’t give a damn, I can’t even — that does it no justice. I stand by everything that I said yesterday ten-fold. A hundred-fold.”

Smith said “I took no issue whatsoever with what Mark Cuban said” on Thursday. Cuban did apologize over Twitter to Trayvon Martin’s family for using the example of a “black kid in a hoodie” in his broader remarks, which evoked memories of the Florida teen.

Smith used the rest of his segment on Friday to talk about the “bigger picture” of Cuban’s remarks and the black community.