The national anthem has become a hot topic in professional sports over the last several years. Ever since Colin Kaepernick began the #TakeaKnee movement back in 2016, the public has debated whether athletes should be forced to stand during the pre-game tradition or allowed to exercise their right to protest.
According to The Athletic’s Tim Cato, the franchise has stopped playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” completely. The outlet points out that the Mavericks have not featured the song before any of their home games this season. Some people noticed this during the Mavericks’ win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, which marked the first time a limited number of fans were allowed into American Airlines Center.
Cuban confirmed the national anthem decision to The Athletic on Monday night. The outlet reports some Mavericks staffers were unaware of the move, as it was reportedly “not announced or explained internally.”
The NBA rule book states that all “players, coaches and trainers must stand and line up in a dignified posture along the foul lines during the playing of the American and/or Canadian national anthems”; however, a league spokesperson told The Athletic that “under the unique circumstances of this season, teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit.”
Cuban and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz traded jabs over the national anthem back in October. It all began after a Texas radio host claimed he would no longer support the Mavericks once a player kneeled during the anthem. Cuban responded in a since-deleted tweet that read: “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.”
Cruz wasn’t pleased with Cuban’s dismissive response and ignited a heated exchange that referenced everything from Hong Kong to COVID-19 to the Black Lives Matter movement.
NBA is telling everyone who stands for the flag, who honors our cops and our veterans, to “piss off”? In Texas, no less?
Good luck with that. pic.twitter.com/AVWLMZIqu0
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 20, 2020
Teddy, in the spirit of détente, I'll get the @NBA to show the White House how to protect all your friends so they don't get sick any more. We have gone months with no cases. Then possibly they can learn what it takes to keep people safe and open up the economy. Deal ? https://t.co/zARIdUIFyO
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) October 8, 2020
You are so full of shit. You haven't watched a game of the finals, how would you know what is being said or done? Since when is a desire to end racism an insult to anyone or political? And you don't think using #GetWokeGoBroke is a partisan insult? Again, this is who you are. https://t.co/uKfHGV7IGc
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) October 6, 2020