Tuesday night, we and others reported on the Athletic’s scoop that Mark Cuban had canceled the National Anthem at all Dallas Mavericks games. He owned the decision, but provided no further comment.
The story went national in a flash, and reached the offices of the National Basketball Association.
Today it’s telling Cuban and all the other NBA owners that the anthem is back on the run of show.
One day after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban confirmed that his team had stopped playing the national anthem before games, the NBA on Wednesday issued a statement saying that wouldn’t be the case.
“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 in a statement.
The league also requires all players to stand during the playing of the National Anthem.
Cuban has an interesting history with the country that made him incredibly wealthy. In 2007 he funded the film Redacted, which smeared U.S. troops then fighting the war in Iraq (Cuban himself never served in the military). In July 2020 he bravely lashed out at the “National Anthem Police” with a silly analogy that worked so well for him he ended up deleting the tweet.
I grew up the Dallas area and therefore grew up a Mavericks fan in the days when Mark Aguirre glided up and down the court. Reunion Arena was the place to be in those days. Redacted made me leave the Mavs for the San Antonio Spurs. Cuban just keeps vindicating that decision.
The ball is now on Mark Cuban’s end of the court. What’ll he do?
Update: We have our answer. Cuban has responded. He issued a quick reaction and a longer, more political statement.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to @NYTSports on the league's decision to mandate the playing of the national anthem before games: "We are good with it."
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 10, 2021
Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks will resume playing the Anthem tonight vs. Atlanta. Statement from Cuban, in part: “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.” pic.twitter.com/XnXpd8ThlW
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 10, 2021