The NBA announced that it will be enforcing its policy of requiring teams to play the national anthem before games after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stated his team would no longer play it.
“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,” said NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass.
Mark Cuban had decided to stop playing the national anthem before the season started.
“It was my decision, and I made it in November,” said Cuban to The New York Times. He did not comment any further.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Cuban made the decision because he did not feel the anthem represented his players.
“Source close to Mark Cuban says decision to not play Anthem before Mavs games isn’t because they don’t love U.S., but because many feel anthem doesn’t represent them, and they want to continue discussion of how to represent people from all communities when honoring U.S. at game,” said Charania.
This statement from the NBA clearly shows the league flipping from its previous stance. The NBA defended the Mavericks, stating that they could operate their pregame however they wanted to.
“Under the unique circumstances of this season, teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit,” said NBA spokesman Tim Frank yesterday.
Mark Cuban released a statement saying that his team will be playing the anthem, flip-flopping on his previous decision not to play it.
“We respect and always have respect the passion people have for the anthem and our country,” said Cuban. “I have always stood for the anthem with the hand over my heart – no matter where I hear it played.”
“The hope is that those who feel passionate about the anthem being played will be just as passionate in listening to those who do not feel it represents them,” continued Cuban.
It is unclear why the NBA and Mark Cuban decided to flip on the issue.