Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Stops Playing the National Anthem at Home Games
The Dallas Mavericks have stopped playing the National Anthem before home basketball games.
The team does not plan to play it moving forward, either, owner Mark Cuban confirmed to The Athletic on Tuesday.
Cuban confirmed to ESPN and also to The New York Times that the halting of the anthem was at his direction.
"It was my decision, and I made it in November," the Shark Tank star told the NYT.
The Mavericks did not announce that the home game ritual would not continue, but none of the 13 preseason and regular-season games played at the American Airlines Center have included it, The Athletic reported.
Cuban and the Mavericks did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said in a statement to the Associated Press that "under the unique circumstances of this season, teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.
Cuban has been outspoken against people who criticized players for kneeling during the National Anthem over the past several seasons.
In June 2020, Cuban told ESPN that he hoped his players would be allowed "to do what's in their heart" despite an NBA rule that expects players and coaches to stand during the anthem.
"Whether it's holding their arm up in the air, whether it's taking a knee, whatever it is, I don't think this is an issue of respect or disrespect to the flag or to the anthem or to our country," Cuban said. "I think this is more a reflection of our players' commitment to this country and the fact that it's so important to them that they're willing to say what's in their heart and do what they think is right."
Source: Read Full Article