The NBA is requiring all teams to play the National Anthem after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced that the Texas team would not play the song at home games.
“With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy,” NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said, CBN News reports.
Previously, the Mavericks had not played “The Star-Spangled Banner” before any of the team’s 13 preseason or regular-season home games.
After Cuban talked with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the team became the first professional U.S. sports team to stop playing the National Anthem, according to Faithwire.com.
“Under the unique circumstances of this season, teams are permitted to run their
pregame operations as they see fit,” an NBA spokesperson originally said.
But this week, after American Airlines Center in Dallas reopened to fans for the first time since the pandemic began, the absence of the anthem was noticed.
The NBA then made an official announcement that all teams must play the anthem.
Cuban said the team would be following the new rule.
“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country,” Cuban said in a statement after the NBA announcement. “I have always stood for the anthem with the hand over my heart — no matter where I hear it played. But we also hear the voices of those who do not feel the anthem represents them. We feel they also need to be respected and heard because they have not been heard.”
“The hope is that those who feel passionate about the anthem being played will be just as passionate in listening to those who do not feel it represents them,” he added.
NBA players began kneeling during the anthem last summer in support of racial equality and justice.
Photo courtesy: Markus Spiske/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.