NBA says Mavs must play national anthem after Mark Cuban ordered a stop

ALLIE YANG
·2 min read

A day after Mark Cuban said the national anthem will no longer be played at the Dallas Mavericks’ home games, the NBA said “all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy.”

The Mavericks have not played the anthem before any of its preseason and regular-season games this season, ESPN reported. On Wednesday, the team announced that it would play the anthem before its match up against the Atlanta Hawks.

PHOTO: Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket past Golden State Warriors forward Kent Bazemore (26) and forward Draymond Green (23) during the first quarter of the game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Feb 6, 2021. (Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)
PHOTO: Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket past Golden State Warriors forward Kent Bazemore (26) and forward Draymond Green (23) during the first quarter of the game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Feb 6, 2021. (Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country,” Cuban wrote in a corresponding statement. “But we also loudly hear the voices of those who feel that the anthem does not represent them. We feel that their voices need to be respected and heard, because they have not been.”

MORE: Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says he hopes to kneel with his players during national anthem at NBA games

Cuban told ESPN in June 2020 that he was “proud” of those taking a knee and said, “Hopefully, I’d join them.”

Cuban has not hidden his thoughts about protests of the national anthem on Twitter.

"The National Anthem Police in this country are out of control," he tweeted. "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."

MORE: Mavericks owner Mark Cuban: 'National Anthem Police in this country are out of control'

"I can say Black Lives Matter,” he said in another tweet. “I can say there is systemic racism in this country.”

PHOTO: Dallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (11) shoots past Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9) during the first half of the game at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Feb. 8, 2021. (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)
PHOTO: Dallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (11) shoots past Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9) during the first half of the game at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Feb. 8, 2021. (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Cuban told ESPN he initially made the decision to stop playing the national anthem after consulting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

NBA rules require players to stand during the national anthem, but Silver has not enforced it, especially as kneeling during the anthem became a popular form of silent protest over the past several years, according to ESPN.

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