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Texas will likely require pro sports teams to play the national anthem because of Mark Cuban controversy

Mark Cuban stopped the national anthem. Texas responded

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban shoots toy gun ammo at an NBA basketball game.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban shoots toy gun ammo at an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in Dallas. Mark Cuban stopped the national anthem. Texas responded.
Tony Gutierrez, Associated Press

It looks like Texas is about to require pro sports teams to play the national anthem at games in the Lone Star state.

KTRK reports that the Texas legislative session recently approved a bill that “would require sports teams to play the national anthem.”

The “Star Spangled Banner Protection Act” — or Senate Bill 4 — would only require professional sports teams that receive government funds to play the national anthem.

  • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick reportedly made the bill a priority after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stopped playing the national anthem before home games back in February 2021, according to KTRK.

Cuban bans national anthem (briefly)

Cuban stopped playing the national anthem due to racial injustice. The Washington Times noted that the national anthem has been under criticism in recent years since former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem as a sign of protest.

  • The NBA had a policy where owners can “run their pregame operations as they see fit,” a league spokesman told The New York Times.

The Dallas Mavericks resumed playing the national anthem, though, according to The Washington Post.

  • “We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country,” Cuban said in a statement. “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.”

As the Deseret News noted, experts saw the moment with Cuban as an example of the culture playing out before our eyes.

  • “The Mark Cuban national anthem story is not a sports story. It’s part of a much larger campaign against conservative values,” financial analyst and Fox News news host Charles V. Payne wrote on Twitter, according to the Deseret News.