On Tuesday, reports surfaced that the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks are no longer playing the National Anthem prior to the start of home games. According to reports, the team has no intentions of playing the song before any home games in the near future. This is taking place with the full support of owner Mark Cuban.
Once the news broke, officials inside President Joe Biden’s administration were asked to comment on what the Mavericks are doing. According to a report by The New York Post, the Biden administration is supportive of the team’s decision.
Playing the song is a long-held tradition before sporting events in the country. The article cites comments made by Biden administration spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Tuesday (Feb. 9) during a press conference held at the White House.
Jen Psaki Speaks on Behalf of Joe Biden Regarding the National Anthem Ban
Regarding the issue, Psaki said: “I haven’t spoken with the president about the decision by Mark Cuban or the Dallas Mavericks.”
“But, I know he’s incredibly proud to be an American, and has great respect for the anthem, and all that represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform around the world,” she added.
Psaki then goes on to offer a nuanced view on what it means to be an American and how one could feel about the National Anthem.
“(President Biden would) also say that, of course, that part of the pride in our country means recognizing moments where we as a country haven’t lived up to our highest ideals, which is often, and at times, when people are speaking to when they take action at sporting events,” Psaki also reportedly said.
“And it means respecting the rights of people, granted to them the Constitution to peacefully protest. That’s why he ran for president in the first place. And, that’s what he’s focused on doing every day,” she also stated, according to the article.
Mark Cuban, Mavericks Decide to Stop Playing the National Anthem
According to recent reports, the Dallas Mavericks had not been playing the Anthem before home games for a while.
The decision not to keep with tradition flew under the radar for some time. It went unnoticed for some time without fans in the arena due to COVID-19. Once some fans were allowed back into American Airlines Center, not playing the song before tipoff was noticed. Also, according to reports, the team did not announce the decision.
Mark Cuban reportedly talked about the decision to stop playing the song before games with The Athletic.
Stan Van Gundy, coach of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, has said he supports what the Mavericks are doing.
“This should happen everywhere,” Van Gundy said on Twitter. “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 workday at every business. What good reason is there to play the anthem before a game?”