Mark Cuban has always been known as an owner who has players’ backs, but they’re usually his players.
On Sunday though, it was one of his friend Jerry’s boys, Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath.
Heath was questionably flagged for a blindside block on a hit that left Seahawks’ return man Ricardo Lockette lying motionless on the turf at AT&T Stadium for several minutes before being carted off, in what was a very scary moment just before the end of the first half. It turned out Lockette had suffered a bad-looking concussion, and had movement in all extremities after the game.
But Cuban, who watched the game before his Mavericks took on the Lakers on Sunday night, took issue with the way the situation was presented on the ESPN crawler.
“I watched it and that was the end of the half and I went to work out,” Cuban said, per the Dallas Morning News. "I had it on ESPN and they just ran a little crawl (that said) Lockette is OK after collision with Heath, who was assessed an unsportsmanlike hit. I was listening to the commentators and even Mike Pereira said it was not a bad hit.
"So you have ESPN branding this kid as a dirty player when--while they aren't factually wrong because of the flag--it's just wrong. That's horrible for this kid who is trying to make it in this league and ESPN is throwing him under the bus when the call was wrong, not what the kid did."
Cuban said he thought about addressing the issue on social media, as he is wont to do at times, but decided against it.
"Everybody said it was a legal hit," Cuban said. "So to put on the crawl that, oh, by the way, he got flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, anybody who didn't see the play is going to think he's a dirty player. I think ESPN owes Heath an apology."