The Dallas Mavericks have stopped playing the national anthem before home games under owner-led Mark Cuban, confirmed ESPN on Tuesday.
The Mavericks have no plans to resume the tradition of playing the national anthem in the future.
Cuba, which rejected further comments, then decided to consult with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. The Mavericks have not announced a change in policy, but the national anthem has not yet been played before their 13 pre- and regular-season matches at the American Airlines Center this season.
According to a team source, no team player, coach or other team member mentioned the change.
The NBA rulebook requires players to stand under the national anthem, but Silver refuses to enforce that rule, especially because kneeling under the anthem has become a popular way to protest social injustice in recent years. The vast majority of NBA players and many coaches fell to their knees during the national anthem at the NBA relaunch last summer in Orlando, Florida, when the league incorporated messaging in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and other social justice in court planning and otherwise.
“I note that this is currently a very emotional issue on both sides of the equation in America, and I think we need a real commitment instead of following the rules,” Silver said at a December news conference.
In an June interview with ESPN’s show Outside the Lines, Cuba expressed its support in protest of players kneeling under the national anthem.
“If they stood on their knees and were respectful, I would be proud of them. Hopefully I would join them,” Cuban said.
Cuba then added that he hopes the league “will allow players to do what is in their hearts”.
“Whether their arms are held in the air, on their knees, whatever they are, I don’t think it’s a matter of respect or disrespect for the flag, the anthem or our country,” Cuban said. “I think it more reflects the commitment of our players to the country and the fact that it’s so important to them that they are willing to say what’s in their hearts and do what they think is right.
“I will postpone it [Silver] any final judgments and [players’ union executive director] Michele Roberts. But the reality is that I hope we let players do exactly what they think is right. “
In 2017, Cuba voiced a different view after then-President Donald Trump criticized NFL players who stood on their knees under the anthem to protest against social injustice and police brutality.
“This is America, and I’m proud of the people who speak out in a civilian way. That’s how we are as a country,” Cuban said at the time. “I’m going to stand there, my hand over my heart. I think the players, too [standing]. I expect them. “
Three years later, as the Black Lives Matter movement continued to grow, Cuba explained what had changed his mindset.
“Because I think we’ve learned a lot since 2017,” he told OTL in June. “I think we have developed as a country. And it really is a unique moment when we can grow as a society, grow as a country, become much more inclusive, and be much more aware of the challenges facing minority communities.
“So I stand unanimous with our players, whatever they choose. But once again, when our NBA players do what’s in their hearts, when they do what they feel they represent, who they are and want to move that forward. the country about racial relations I think it’s a nice thing and I’ll be proud of them. ”