Early in the season, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reportedly told his NBA team not to play the National Anthem before home games. And they're holding to it.
The decision was made quietly during the preseason, but was just confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday. ESPN noted the anthem hasn’t been played during any of the Mavericks' 13 preseason and regular season home games played at the American Airlines Center.
Cuban, who has previously expressed support for players kneeling during the National Anthem as long as they’re being “respectful,” told the sports outlet that his team has no plans to resume playing the anthem anytime in the future, saying that he made the call after consulting NBA commissioner Adam Silver. ESPN notes that while the official NBA rules still state that players must stand during the anthem, Silver hasn't enforced that rule against the large number of players and coaches who now have a longstanding habit of kneeling, instead.
The NBA has come under heavy fire from the public on both sides of the issue, with social justice warriors on the left pressuring sports companies and associations to take even stronger - and more expensive - stances in support of groups like Black Lives Matter, and patriots on the right demanding that athletes, coaches, owners and officials show respect for the National Anthem and the American flag.
And so far, it's pretty clear which camp the China-loving NBA (which continues to turn a blind eye to he communist government's atrocities against Uyghur Muslims) has sided with. The majority of players and coaches took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem during the 2020-21 NBA season re-opening last summer, where the NBA had decorated the court sidelines with Black Lives Matter messaging. The NBA has also pledged to donate $300 million over the next 10 years to various social justice groups to combat alleged racism and inequality.
(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)