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The day after the NBA discovered that the Dallas Mavericks refused to play the national anthem before their home games, NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass issued a statement Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, mandating that all NBA teams must play the national anthem before games. With NBA teams welcoming fans back to their arenas the NBA feels that it would be in keeping with the longstanding league policy to play the anthem before games.
The Mavericks have recently opened their arena to 1,500 fans at their most recent home game. Playing 12 home games so far, Maverick owner Mark Cuban expressed to USA Today Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt that Dallas had no plans on playing the anthem at their home games for the remainder of the season prior to the league’s announcement Wednesday.
Cuban issued a statement saying:
We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country, 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.
Cuban’s decision not to play the anthem was known by the NBA since the beginning of the season, but now that fans are being allowed back into arenas the NBA feels it must insert this mandate. Last Monday was the first-day that fans were allowed back into American Airline Center in Dallas. The anthem not being played became an issue with the NBA.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle emphasized that this is Mark’s decision and he had his reasons for not playing the anthem. But moving forward the anthem will be played at all Maverick home games according to the NBA mandate.
Cuban appeared on ESPN’s ‘The Jump.’ and told host Rachel Nichols that they do not have a problem playing the national anthem. That is not the issue at all. Cuban expressed that the real issue is being able to express the voices of those that feel that the anthem does not represent them.
The NBA has stated that they are willing to have a discussion about the playing of the anthem but they do not want to have one owner going rogue out of the 30.
Written by Omari Jahi
USA Today: NBA: All teams will play national anthem ‘in keeping with longstanding league policy’, Lorenzo Reyes and Jeff Zillgitt
USA Today: Opinion: NBA dropped the ball on national anthem conversation, Dan Wolken
NBA: NBA issues statement regarding the national anthem,
The Spun: NBA Announces Official Decision On The National Anthem, Dan Lyons
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Coast Guard News’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Kevin Kretschmar’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License