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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told team to stop playing national anthem

The NBA said teams can skip the anthem this season if they want to

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Dallas Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban walks across the court floor during half time of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Dallas, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021.

Dallas Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban walks across the court floor during half time of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Dallas, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021.

Associated Press

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Tuesday that he has called on his team to stop playing the national anthem ahead of home games for the 2021 season, The Athletic reports.

  • “It was my decision, and I made it in November,” Cuban said, according to The New York Times.

The Mavericks did not formally announce the new policy. But Cuban can enact the change, though, since the NBA has a policy where owners can “run their pregame operations as they see fit” because of “the unique circumstances this season,” a league spokesman told The New York Times.

Dallas, so far, is the only team to stop playing the national anthem, according to The New York Times.

Why it matters

As The Washington Times notes, the national anthem has been a time-honored tradition before sporting events. But the concept has been under criticism since former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled before the anthem as a sign of protest.

NBA players and coaches knelt during the national anthem during the NBA’s bubble restart to call “attention to racial injustice and police brutality,” according to CBS News.

  • The Utah Jazz said at the time that players can “exercise their First Amendment rights, and use their voices, their experiences, and their platforms to peacefully express themselves.”