Dallas Mavericks Decide to Skip National Anthem Before Games
Update: The NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass issued a league statement on this matter. "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."
On Tuesday, ESPN confirmed that the Dallas Mavericks, an NBA team owned by Mark Cuban, have not and will not be playing the national anthem before their home games.
According to ESPN’s story, Cuban consulted with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, and in the 13 total home games that have been played at American Airlines Center in Dallas, the national anthem has been nowhere to be found. While the ESPN report stated that none of the Mavericks organization - players, coaches, or any other staff members - have commented on the change, it is also worth noting that the team didn’t announce the official change until Tuesday.
In fact, as of Wednesday morning, neither the official Dallas Mavericks social media accounts, nor any of Mark Cuban’s accounts have made comments about the decision.
Cuban has notably been one of the loudest owners during the past months of social unrest around the country. In fact, in June, during the midst of protests, rallies, and marches, Cuban, in an interview with ESPN’s Outside the Lines, stated that he would try to join his players in protest of social injustice.
"If they were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I'd be proud of them. Hopefully, I'd join them," Cuban said.
This comes just months after the NBA made international news for their playoff bubble that combined social distancing and COVID-19 protocol with a peaceful protest that spanned the entire league.
From changing names on the backs of jerseys to words signifying unity and peace to painting the main court with the term, “Black Lives Matter,” the NBA was one of the first leagues to make a widespread change to push for social justice.
With a game Wednesday night against the 11-12 Atlanta Hawks at American Airlines Center, the 11-14 Dallas Mavericks will likely be skipping the National Anthem for a 14th straight time. It is yet to be seen whether other NBA teams or any other professional sports organizations will join in this new form of protest.