The Dallas Mavericks have continued their refusal to play the US national anthem at their home matches this season, however, the reason for this decision still remains unknown.

The decision has drawn a mixed reaction from the public, more negative than positive after manager Mark Cuban confirmed that the decision to refuse to play the national anthem was taken by himself and the club ahead of the season in November.

What’s the story?

In order to avoid controversy surrounding players kneeling for the national anthem, the Dallas Mavericks took the decision to stop playing the national anthem before matches this season.

The decision was taken in-house and wasn’t revealed to the public, however, the club is still yet to play the national anthem throughout the season, after 13 preseason matches and 12 regular season matches.

Multiple employees at the club noted the removal of the anthem from matches, yet cited the club did not offer an internal explanation.

Manager Mark Cuban took responsibility, citing that he solely made the decision in November.

The club has also confirmed that there are no plans to lift the ban in the foreseeable future.

Absurd concept

The decision drew a mixed reaction on social media, with many arguing that the decision taken by manager Cuban has no real impact, whilst others argued that the tradition of playing the national anthem before sports matches was ‘outdated’.

Kyle Becker, an independent journalist, simply stated his shock at the Mavericks becoming the first professional sports to ban the anthem, whilst multiple personalities, including sports columnist Leander Schaerlaeckens, cited that there is nothing written in law that states US sports teams must play the national anthem, stating that the tradition actually started at the 1918 World Series, and was mainly used to raise morale and patriotism during wartime.

Others were quick to point the so-called ‘absurdity’ of the concept, comparing playing the national anthem at sports matches with playing it at theatres or church services.

A spokesperson for the NBA, Tim Frank, confirmed the league’s view on the rules, saying that clubs are permitted to operate their pre match programs ‘how they see fit’.