DALLAS, TX – The The Dallas Mavericks have not played the national anthem before home games the entire season. The team has hosted 13 home games, but the absence of the anthem wasn’t noticed until Monday, the first game in which limited fans were allowed at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Cuban confirmed to The Athletic that it was his decision to not play the national anthem before games.
The NBA commented on that decision Tuesday, saying it expects all teams to follow league policy and continue playing the national anthem before games.
NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass cited fans returning to arenas as a reason to continue playing the national anthem.
Cuban explained that he respects the anthem and has always stood with his hand over his heart while it was being played. He said he hopes people who “feel passionate about the anthem being played will be just as passionate in listening to those who do not feel it represents them.”
Cuban’s statement will be put to the test immediately. The Mavericks host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Unless Cuban has a last minute change of heart, the Mavericks are expected to play the national anthem prior to Wednesday’s contest.
SOURCE Yahoo Sports