Published On: Wed, Feb 10th, 2021

Mark Cuban Ends Playing National Anthem at Dallas Mavericks Games

The move is linked to the controversy of payers kneeling while it is played.

The Dallas Mavericks will no longer play the national anthem at their home games. Team owner Mark Cuban made the decision after the NBA changed its longstanding policy which required every team to play “The Star Spangled Banner” before a game. It instead now allows the teams to decide for themselves what to do.

The Dallas Mavericks did not advertise their decision. Mark Cuban only just confirmed the new policy when speaking to The Athletic the other day.

The rule was quietly changed for this season. Mark Cuban reportedly said of the change, “It was my decision, and I made it in November,” and nothing more.

The reason for the NBA’ change in policy is said to be related to the growing movement of African American players kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem before games across all of the major sports leagues in the U.S. This has been done as part of a protest against the mistreatment of Blacks at the hands of the police.

NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick famously began the trend while playing for the San Francisco 49ers. In 2016. He was then unofficially blacklisted and has not played a game in the last five NFL seasons, in spite of having still been able to play and be an asset to a team.

The NBA still requires that all players stand during the playing of the National Anthem. But many have been taking a knee. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has declined to enforce the rule stating, “I recognize that this is a very emotional issue on both sides of the equation in America right now, and I think it calls for real engagement rather than rule enforcement.”


Mark Cuban also believes that the rule requiring standing should be changed too. He told ESPN, “Hopefully we’ll re-adapt and hopefully we’ll allow players to do what’s in their heart, whether it’s holding an arm up in the air, whether it’s taking a knee. “

The playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” before sporting events is not something set in stone. The tradition began before baseball games during World War II. It was done as a sign of support for the war effort and national unity during wartime. The playing of the song before events was continued even after the war and is done at all baseball, football, hockey and basketball games.

Then came September 11, 2001. The NFL and Major League season were suspended for two weeks after the 9/11 attacks. When baseball returned teams began a new tradition of playing “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch. MLB teams continue to do so twenty years later.

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