Mark Cuban confirmed late Monday that his Dallas Mavericks NBA team is not playing the national anthem prior to its home games, causing ripple effects all across the nation. The owner of the Mavericks has chosen to not play the anthem at any of its 13 games played so far this season.
While there was never an official announcement that the anthem would not be played, the billionaire Cuban confirmed that it was his personal decision. Prior to Monday’s game, there have been no fans allowed into the arena as spectators. Now that a limited number of fans will be allowed to enter the building, it will become obvious that Cuban is eliminating this pre-game show of patriotism.
Cuban No Stranger to Controversy
It is not out of character for Cuban to go against the grain. The divisive and controversial figure is no stranger to controversy. Last year, Cuban criticized people who demanded that the anthem be respected.
NBA Issues Statement
On Wednesday, the NBA responded by issuing an official statement saying that all teams will play the national anthem going forward. How Cuban responds to this directive will certainly be interesting.
Move Sure to Create Debate
The decision by Cuban and the subsequent statement by the NBA is likely to set off debate and discussion throughout the country. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about how President Joe Biden felt about Cuban’s decision to cancel the anthem during her Wednesday news conference. She deflected the question, choosing to only say that she had not spoken to Biden about the issue.