Cuban confirmed he gave the order, but did not say anything else about it.
It took 13 games for anyone to notice, but the Dallas Mavericks stopped playing the national anthem before games.
Owner Mark Cuban confirmed he gave the order, but does not know if it will last all season nor did he provide any comment or statement.
The Athletic first reported the deletion on Tuesday but noted the team did not play the anthem in the 13 pre-season and regular-season games:
None of 13 preseason and regular-season games played at the American Airlines Center this season have featured the anthem before the game, including Monday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the first played this season with a limited amount of fans in attendance.
The Mavericks did not publicize the anthem’s removal, and The Athletic was the first media organization to reach out about the change after noticing its absence on Monday. Multiple team employees described only noticing the anthem’s removal on their own, as it was also not announced or explained internally.
Cuban declined a request for further comment or explanation Monday evening. The Mavericks organization also declined comment Tuesday.
An NBA spokesperson told The Athletic on Tuesday that “under the unique circumstances of this season, teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit.” Other teams have continued to play the anthem at their home venues mostly with recorded video or audio, including games played against Dallas.
Cuban consulted NBA Commissioner Adam Silver about his decision. The Mavericks also told other teams. None of them objected to Cuban’s choice.
Full statement from the NBA on mandating all teams to play the national anthem: pic.twitter.com/VeCIxLCpew
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 10, 2021
Cuban previously encouraged his team “to put their hand over their heart during the anthem.
But now “his feelings about the issue have evolved since 2017.” Cuban supports his players “who opted to kneel or protest during the song.”
In June, he said, “If they were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them.”
Cuban faced criticism after his comments. He tweeted about the National Anthem Police but deleted it: “The National Anthem Police in this country are out of control. If you want to complain, complain to your boss and ask why they don’t play the National Anthem every day before you start work.”
The Mavericks used to play God Bless America before games. They changed it to the national anthem when Ross Perot bought the team in 1996. Cuban kept the tradition going until this season.DONATE
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