Mark Cuban tells Ted Cruz to “have some balls for once” in hilarious Twitter spat

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Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) needs to get his priorities straight. The nation he’s sworn to serve is struggling to survive a deadly pandemic that has claimed almost 140,000 American lives already and an economy has been reduced to financial rubble. One would expect someone with as much power and influence as a United States senator to be laser-focused on alleviating the suffering of the American people but instead, he seems to be entirely preoccupied with pointless culture war battles.

“Preoccupied” is perhaps too generous a word, since Cruz’s decision to talk about things like Goya beans instead of COVID-19 is an intentional, deeply cynical strategy aimed at distracting voters from the ongoing crisis in the hopes that they’ll somehow dupe themselves into supporting Republicans in November. Ted Cruz’s priority is, as always, Ted Cruz.

The Texas senator’s latest bad faith attempt to draw attention away from his party’s disastrous handling of the pandemic involved attacking billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

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The digital dustup started after Cuban responded to a talk show host named Mark Davis saying that his support for the Mavericks this season is contingent upon none of the players kneeling during the anthem, a gesture which has come to signify opposition to police brutality for many but which has been warped and misrepresented by conservatives as signifying blanket anti-Americanism.

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Davis urged Cuban to “lead the way” in preventing such kneeling and Cuban retweeted him and simply wrote “Bye” making it abundantly clear he has no intention of controlling his players in such a fashion. He followed up with a second tweet, saying that the “National Anthem Police are out of control” and pointed out that people working at normal jobs aren’t forced by their employers to listen to the National Anthem every day.

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Cruz soon swooped in like a vulture. Rather than retweeting Cuban directly and thus alerting him to his attack, he shared a screenshot of Cuban’s tweet and wrote “Really??!?” like an irritated tween. He expanded Cuban’s relatively benign telling off of one person into a claim that the “NBA is telling everyone who stands for the flag, who honors our cops and veterans, to ‘piss off’?” He then feigned extra indignation over the fact that the Mavericks are a Texas-based basketball team.

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It was an embarrassingly transparent attempt to stir up Republican rage over a total nonissue and a reminder that Cruz can never be expected to interpret anything in good faith. If he sees some sort of political gain in twisting someone’s words he’ll do it every time.

Cuban responded to Cruz by telling him to “have some balls for once” and told him to speak to him directly about the tweet. It was a crude insult but one that surely stung, since the senator is hardly known as a paragon of traditional masculinity. After all, Cruz is a man who ended up endorsing Donald Trump even after he essentially called his wife ugly.

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Cruz responded by asking for Cuban’s thoughts on China, a complete nonsequitur and proof positive that the only reason he started this little Twitter tiff was to reel off a series of grievances, even if they have nothing to do with each other. Desperate for more attention, he followed up with another tweet about China when Cuban failed to immediately respond (presumably because unlike Cruz he has things to do and can’t waste all day on Twitter).

The NBA’s track record on China, particularly as it relates to Hong Kong, has been abysmal but one would have to be a fool to think that Cruz genuinely cares about the issue. He doesn’t even care about his own constituents, as evinced by his failure to push for better healthcare and his support of a president who is weakening our country by the day. To Cruz, Hong Kong is just one more bad faith cudgel he can wield against his enemies. He should be neither listened to nor respected.

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