Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, made a decision to eliminate playing the national anthem before their games this season. He didn’t make an announcement at the time and only Tuesday went public about it. The NBA has responded. The Mavericks, just like all the other NBA teams, must play the anthem as it is the league’s “longstanding policy”.
Cuban told ESPN he made the decision to not play the national anthem before home games and consulted with NBA commissioner Adam Silver. The national anthem has not been played before any of their 13 preseason and regular-season Maverick games. Now that fans are being allowed back into sports arenas to attend games, Cuban’s decision became apparent after Monday’s game. Fans were allowed to watch the Mavericks play Minnesota as guests of Cuban. These fans were 1,500 vaccinated essential workers.
Now that fans are going to be allowed back to watch other teams play, too, it’s time to get back to more normal ways. According to the NBA, all teams need to follow policy and play the anthem.
“With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy,” the league said in a statement.
This quiet decision by Cuban is likely a weasel way to avoid any controversy with NBA players taking a knee for social justice as has happened in recent seasons. Fans are turned off by bringing politics into sports, especially in red states like Texas. The NBA’s rulebook requires players to stand during the national anthem, though Silver hasn’t enforced that rule in the past. The Mavericks are the first team in North American professional sports to just not play the Star-Spangled Banner before games.
Cuban made the remark to a reporter on Monday but didn’t offer further explanation. The Maverick organization didn’t offer comments on Tuesday. Today a tweet went out that the anthem will be played before the Mavericks play the Atlanta tonight. That was quick.
Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks will resume playing the Anthem tonight vs. Atlanta. Statement from Cuban, in part: “The hope is that those who feel passionate about the anthem being played will be just as passionate in listening to those who do not feel it represents them.” pic.twitter.com/XnXpd8ThlW
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 10, 2021
The statement is a feel-good mumbo jumbo that tries to appease the protesters. “The hope is that those who feel passionate about the anthem being played will be just as passionate in listening to those who do not feel it represents them.” The anthem represents everyone, even social justice warriors. The greatness of the freedom it represents is what allows protesters to test the public’s patience and make political statements during sports games. This only became an issue during the Trump administration, a way to take a slap at his presidency. Problems with police and minority communities didn’t just happen. Racial injustices didn’t just begin in 2016. The Black Lives Matter protests began in 2013, while Barack Obama was president. Why didn’t the kneeling begin then?
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about this during Wednesday’s press briefing. She tried her best to straddle the line between reassuring the reporter of Biden’s patriotic feelings and still sound woke for the protests, too. She failed miserably, as usual.
Psaki said she had not spoken to President Joe Biden about the issue.
“I know he’s incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem and all that it represents,” Psaki said. “He’d also say, of course, that part of pride in our country means recognizing where we as a country haven’t lived up to our highest ideals.”
Remember, she worked for John Kerry as the State Department’s spokesperson in the Obama days. That administration perfected the art of blaming America for all the woes in the world.