Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says it was his decision to eliminate the national anthem from the team’s pregame routine.
The Dallas Mavericks will no longer play the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ as a part of their pregame routine moving forward.
Mark Cuban told The Athletic that it was his decision to get rid of the practice. The organization actually hasn’t played the national anthem at all before its games this season, a move that had gone unnoticed through the first 13 games played at American Airlines Center. The Mavs’ matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday was the first time fans were permitted in and able to see their team in action at the arena.
Cuban has been vocal about his support for those who want to use their platforms to support social justice issues however they see fit. He’s also expressed support specifically for players who choose to kneel during the playing of the anthem.
Mark Cuban says Mavericks not playing the anthem is not about disrespect for the country
While Cuban has made clear his feelings about issues of social justice, there was no conversation internally amongst employees about the removal of the tradition.
He did maintain that not playing the anthem is not an indictment of how his organization or his players and coaches feel about the anthem. Cuban did say, however, that Mavericks players don’t feel represented by it.
It’s a bold move by Cuban and the Mavericks to remove a tradition such as that when social justice issues are on the hearts and minds of not only the players but the world. We’ll see if other teams around the NBA and other sports organizations and leagues take notice and choose to approach the pregame routine differently.
UPDATE: The NBA has released a statement that it expects all teams to continue playing the national anthem before games.