So no more kneeling for the national anthem at Mavericks games. Why? Because Dallas isn’t and won’t be playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” anymore.
Mark Cuban informed The Athletic it was his decision to eliminate the tradition of playing the anthem before games.
There was no publicity over Mavericks not playing the national anthem, either within the organization or through an announcement to media but on Monday, the Mavericks played their first game in front of a limited number of fans. The first 13 combined preseason and regular-season games played at American Airlines Center were without the national anthem.
Cuban has supported those who decided to kneel during the playing of the national anthem, a practice which former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began in 2016.
The controversial Mavericks owner told ESPN last July of the potential for his team’s players to kneel during the anthem: “If they were taking a knee, and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them” and that he hoped he would “join them.” He later tweeted, in response to what he called “The National Anthem Police,” that if critics of the nonviolent protest of systemic racism in the United States took issue then they could “complain to your boss and ask why they don’t play the National Anthem every day before you start work.”
NBA rules require players to stand during the playing of the anthem but commissioner Adam Silver has opted to overlook the rule in view of supporting his players’ decisions to express themselves.
“I recognize that this is a very emotional issue on both sides of the equation in America right now,” Silver said during a press conference in December, “and I think it calls for real engagement rather than rule enforcement.”
H/T NY Post
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