New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach Stan Van Gundy supports the Mavericks’ decision to not play the National Anthem before games.
The Pelicans may soon follow the Mavericks in getting rid of the National Anthem prior to games. And if Van Gundy had his way, all of the NBA would quickly follow as well. The head coach made his opinion known in a tweet. Van Gundy doesn’t understand why the anthem is played before games.
On Twitter, Van Gundy wrote, “This should happen everywhere. If you think the anthem needs to be played before sporting events, then play it before every movie, concert, church service and the start of every work day at every business. What good reason is there to play the anthem before a game?”
The National Anthem has long been a staple before various sporting and other events. But in recent years, especially 2020, it’s become a source of conflict. Some athletes and others have chosen to kneel during the anthem as a form of protest for social and racial justice. But the Mavericks chose to get rid of the anthem altogether.
Mavericks Ditch the National Anthem
Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban revealed in an interview with the Athletic that it was his decision to get rid of the anthem at home games. The removal occurred in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of lockdown procedures, the Mavericks weren’t allowing fans in to watch the game.
Without fans, many did not realize the Mavericks haven’t been playing the anthem before the game. Neither Cuban nor the Mavericks publicly revealed they made the change to their pre-game ritual. But now that some fans are allowed in a limited capacity to watch the game, they realized the National Anthem was noticeably absent.
Based on Cuban’s comments, he doesn’t have any plans to bring the National Anthem back for the Mavericks’ games. The businessman has been a supporter of protests during sporting events previously. The organization announced that future games won’t include the anthem, whether there’s a crowd or not.
So far, fan reaction has been mixed over the change. The anthem’s removal proves to be as much a source of conflict as any protests during the national tune.