At Denver Startup Week event, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says there are two people in the White House: the President and the Twitter troll 

When three famous entrepreneurs took the stage Tuesday night during Denver Startup Week, the conversation unexpectedly turned toward the recent NFL player protests that included 32 Denver Broncos players kneeling during the national anthem.

That’s because one of the entrepreneurs was Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. And another, Brad Feld, a prolific venture capitalist at Boulder’s Foundry Group, went there.

“My guess is that this is probably the only time this week that I get to hang out and talk to the an owner of a professional sports team so I’m going to shift to current events,” said Feld, who moderated the discussion at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House about starting a business with Cuban and Charlie Ergen, founder of Dish Network in Douglas County.

“How are you thinking about this dynamic” he asked Cuban about President Donald Trump’s comments that football players who disrespect the flag should be fired.

Cuban, who has vocally criticized Trump, jokingly dodged the topic but then came out quite clear on his feelings.

“Sports and politics have always been connected,” said Cuban, who’s also a main investor in the ABC show “Shark Tank.”

He pointed to Wang Zhizhi, the first Chinese basketball player to play for the NBA. Cuban said that before Wang’s first game for the Mavericks in 2001, China shot down a U.S. Navy surveillance plane creating a major international incident. The crowd gave him a standing ovation, Cuban said.

Another time, at the beginning of the Iraq War, a player said he was against the war.

“Dallas is a red state so everyone was up in arms. For about a week, he had a couple of shots, and people forgave him,” Cuban said. “I’ve had controversies with players before. It’s nothing new. It’s not like politicians refuse to take donations from athletes, owners and managers.”

Of course, in the past, the president of the U.S. wasn’t a big social media user, which Cuban then alluded to.

“The only thing that changed,” said Cuban, taking a very long pause that got the audience laughing. “And so my approach,”  he said, skipping over what changed.

But then Cuban let it out.

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