After saying that his organization would not play he National Anthem before home games, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was forced to eat his words when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reiterated the NBA’s policy that the national song is mandatory at the open of each contest.
Cuban had told ESPN that he directed his organization to stop playing the national anthem before home games, Breitbart.com reported. The move was said to be permanent, not temporary, with no plans to reinstate the ritual.
In doing so, the Dallas Mavericks became the first major American sports team in US history to officially terminate the playing of the National Anthem.
But NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement Wednesday re-stating the long-standing NBA policy that “all teams will play the national anthem” prior to each game.
CUBAN IN TROUBLE: NBA Tells Billionaire Mark All Teams ‘Must Play National Anthem’ Before Each Game https://t.co/ynm9wwWXkY
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) February 10, 2021
Backpedaling, Cuban told ESPN he had no issue with his organization playing the anthem “at all.” He said the decision not to do so was the result of conversations with members of the community who felt the tradition “did not fully represent them.”
Cuban’s organization never issued a formal policy statement on the termination of the playing of the Anthem, but it had not been played before any of their 13 pre-season and regular-season games played so far this season at the American Airlines Center.
“We’re always talking to our community. That’s something [Mavericks CEO Cynthia Marshall] stands for and is very insistent upon and has become a core part of who we are at the Dallas Mavericks,” Cuban told ESPN Wednesday.
“In listening to the community, there were quite a few people who voiced their concerns, really their fears that the national anthem did not fully represent them, that their voices were not being heard,” Cuban continued in his excuse. “So, we’ve had a lot of conversations about whether or not we should play the anthem. And so, during the first pre-season game, we decided to not play it and just see what the response was, knowing that we were going to have ongoing conversations about it.”
Dear @mcuban, it is deeply myopic to take the stance that you did regarding the national anthem. There are certain ideals, beliefs, rituals, icons, & symbols that define a country and that causes people to unite around its bedrock principles. The national anthem is one such cue.
— Gad Saad (@GadSaad) February 10, 2021
Cuban waffled on his initial decision saying the organization had always planned on resuming the playing of the Anthem “at some point, likely when fans were allowed back in the arena.”
“We didn’t make any decision to never play the national then, that wasn’t the case at all,” Cuban, one of the hosts of Shark Tank, demurred. “We didn’t cancel the national anthem. We still had our flag flying proud up on the wall at the American Airlines Center and everybody had the opportunity to address it and pray to it or salute to it or whatever their feelings are.”
Following the NBA commissioner’s tacit admonishment of Cuban it was announcement the Mavericks would be playing the National Anthem pre-game starting Wednesday night against Atlanta.
Cuban had floated the idea of his running for the presidency in 2024. This decision would necessarily become a talking point in any opposition research campaign against his candidacy, should he indeed choose to run.