NBA to Require Playing Anthem Before Games

'We are good with it,' Mark Cuban says
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2021 5:24 PM CST
NBA to Require Playing Anthem Before Games
Members of the Denver Nuggets and the Dallas Mavericks lock arms and take a knee during the national anthem before an NBA basketball game in Denver.   (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

A day after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban confirmed that he made the call to stop playing the “Star Spangled Banner” at the team’s home games, the NBA announced that it will require all teams to play the national anthem ahead of games.The move to require the anthem is “in keeping with longstanding league policy,” the NBA said, the New York Times reports. The Mavericks have played more than a dozen home games this season, none of which have featured the anthem. Speaking to ESPN on Tuesday, Cuban didn’t give a reason for scrubbing the song, but he said he made the decision after consulting with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Previously, NBA spokesman Tim Frank said, “Under the unique circumstances of this season, teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit.”

Regarding the NBA’s apparent turnaround, Cuban on Wednesday told the Times: “We are good with it.” In a statement, per the AP, he said: “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.” Some NBA coaches have shown support for scrapping the anthem before games, the AP notes. On Wednesday, New Orleans Pelicans Coach Stan Van Gundy tweeted: “If you think the anthem needs to be played before sporting events, then play it before every movie, concert, church service, and the start of every work day at every business. What good reason is there to play the anthem before a game?” (More NBA stories.)

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