Both the Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers quickly announced the teams will be playing the national anthem at their arenas. The moves were a reaction to the controversy created by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban when he nixed it before the basketball team’s home games.
Meanwhile, the lieutenant governor of Texas filed a bill that would require all teams in the state to play the anthem if the teams take public money.
Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick announced that he’d filed the bill, which he called the “Star Spangled Banner Protection Act.” Patrick, who is one of the most powerful people in the state of Texas, said he would make passing the bill a legislative priority.
Patrick said in a statement to the media:
“It is hard to believe this could happen in Texas, but Mark Cuban’s actions of yesterday made it clear that we must specify that in Texas we play the national anthem before all major events.”
“In this time when so many things divide us, sports are one thing that bring us together — right, left, Black, white and brown. This legislation already enjoys broad support. I am certain it will pass, and the Star Spangled Banner will not be threatened in the Lone Star State again.”
Mark Cuban Reverses Course
Mark Cuban owns the Dallas Mavericks. He’s a business innovator who made billions in the 1990s when he helped create broadcast.com. Cuban, who is part of the cast of the reality show “Shark Tank” also is outspoken in support of his players.
When the NBA started its season in December, the Mavericks didn’t play the national anthem for the first 13 games. There also were no fans in the arena. This week, there were 1,500 health-care workers who were allowed in. A reporter for The Athletic noticed the anthem wasn’t played. Cuban confirmed it was his decision not to play it.
But Cuban’s decision started a controversy. By Wednesday afternoon, the NBA restated that its teams must play the anthem at its games. Before, there were looser restrictions for this season since a number of teams still had no fans in the stands.
In a statement to the media, Mark Cuban said:
“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country. But we also loudly hear the voices of those who feel that the anthem does not represent them. We feel that their voices need to be respected and heard because they have not been.
“Going forward, our hope is that people will take the same passion they have for this issue and apply the same amount of energy to listen to those who feel differently from them. Only then we can move forward and have courageous conversations that move this country forward and find what unites us.”
Mavericks, Rangers Vow To Play Anthem
The Mavericks played the anthem Wednesday night. Cuban told reporters he’d always planned to restart the anthem once fans were allowed at American Airlines Center.
The Stars issued a statement, via Twitter:
“The playing of the national anthem is a time-honored tradition and the Dallas Stars will continue to perform the Star-Spangled Banner prior to our games at American Airlines Center. As the only National Hockey League team in Texas, we are proud to represent our state and our country.
Texas Rangers chairman Ray Davis told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
“We strongly support playing the national anthem before Rangers home games. It is an important tradition that we will continue to honor at Globe Life Field.”