Quantcast

UPDATE: NBA Mandates Playing of Anthem After Mavs Owner Cuban Had Nixed It

'Under the unique circumstances of this season, teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit...'

UPDATE 2:40 PM: The NBA said Wednesday the national anthem will be played in arenas “in keeping with longstanding league policy” after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban revealed he had decided not to play it before his team’s home games this season.

The league’s initial reaction to Cuban’s decision was to say teams were free to conduct pregame activities as they wished with the unusual circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic. Most NBA teams don’t have fans at home games.

But the NBA abruptly reversed course with Cuban’s decision reverberating around the country, including a question put to White House press secretary Jen Psaki during her daily briefing. Athlete protests of social and racial injustice during the anthem became a flashpoint between then-President Donald Trump and various leagues during his administration.

“With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy,” the league said.

Cuban, who had said the team didn’t intend to play “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the future, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment after the NBA’s announcement. However, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press that Cuban has told the NBA he will comply.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: (Associated Press) Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Tuesday he decided before this season began not to play the national anthem before the team’s home games.

The Mavericks played their first 10 regular-season home games without fans.

The club had fans for the first time in Monday’s 127-122 win over Minnesota.

Dallas is allowing 1,500 vaccinated essential workers to attend games for free.

Cuban didn’t elaborate on his decision not to play the anthem, saying nobody had noticed.

The Athletic first reported that Dallas had dropped the anthem.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank said, “Under the unique circumstances of this season, teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit.”

Cuban was outspoken against critics of NBA players and coaches kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” when the 2019-20 season resumed in the bubble in Florida last summer.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -