The Dallas Mavericks and their owner Mark Cuban have officially taken a stance against the playing of the national anthem before games.
Mark Cuban spoke with The Athletic recently and told them it was his decision to eliminate the tradition of playing the anthem before home games. Without fans in their stadium, the move went largely unnoticed through the first 13 combined preseason and regular-season games at American Airlines Center.
And the Mavericks did not publicize their decision either within the organization or in an announcement to the media. Monday was the first game of the 2021 season in which Dallas allowed a limited number of fans into their arena. As a result, they quickly realized the team had skipped over the national anthem.
Front Office Sports posted the update to their official Twitter account on Tuesday night.
“The Dallas Mavericks have stopped playing the national anthem before home games this season and do not plan to play it moving forward,” the account wrote.
Dallas Mavericks Owner Has Been Supportive of Protests
Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks have been vocal about their support of those who wish to peacefully protest during the playing of the national anthem. That includes kneeling — the practice which former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began in 2016. It has since become a lightning rod for political debate.
The outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner sat down with ESPN last July. He spoke on the potential for his team’s players to kneel during the anthem. He says, “If they were taking a knee, and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them.”
Cuban also said that he hoped he would “join them.”
Further, Cuban later sent a response to what he called “The National Anthem Police,” on Twitter. He gave some advice to critics of the peaceful protest of systemic racism in the United States. Cuban said if you have an issue then you could “complain to your boss. Ask why they don’t play the National Anthem every day before you start work.”
Meanwhile, the NBA previously had rules that require players to stand during the playing of the anthem. But Commissioner Adam Silver has made the decision to overlook the rule. He did so in view of supporting his players and their ability to express how they feel.
“I recognize that this is a very emotional issue on both sides of the equation in America right now,” Silver said during a press conference in December, “And I think it calls for real engagement rather than rule enforcement.”
NBA fans on Twitter have had mixed reactions regarding the Dallas Mavericks’ recent announcement. You can view some of the comments here.