The national anthem is no longer played before Dallas Mavericks home games, a decision team owner Mark Cuban confirmed Tuesday to The Athletic and ESPN.
The team has played at the American Airlines Center 13 times between preseason and regular-season games for the 2020-21 campaign, and “The Star-Spangled Banner” didn’t precede any of the contests. However, the Mavericks’ 127-122 win over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday marked the first time that fans were present — albeit in limited numbers.
Cuban told ESPN that he made his decision after consulting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
While NBA rules require players to stand for the playing of the anthem, Silver hasn’t enforced that regulation. NBA players were particularly outspoken about using the anthem as a time for protest last summer in the midst of social unrest following the killing of George Floyd.
Silver said in December regarding standing for the anthem, “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.”
Cuban came out last year in favor of players taking a knee during the anthem. He told ESPN in June 2020, “If they were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them. Hopefully I’d join them.”
–Field Level Media