The Dallas Mavericks Stopped Playing the National Anthem Before Games and No One Noticed

The NBA responded by making it mandatory to play the anthem.

On Tuesday Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, confirmed to ESPN that he’d decided to stop playing the Star-Spangled Banner before his team’s games. At the time, Cuban declined to comment. On Wednesday, the NBA‘s chief communications officer Mike Bass released a statement announcing that the league was intervening.

“With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas,” Bass explained, “all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy.”


The NBA’s rulebook requires players to stand during the national anthem, though league commissioner Adam Silver has declined to enforce the rule. “I recognize that this is a very emotional issue on both sides of the equation,” Silver said in a December news conference. “I think it calls for real engagement rather than rule enforcement.”


On Wednesday, Mark Cuban announced the Mavericks would resume playing the anthem and explained his original decision.

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

Stay tuned for further updates.

Torry Threadcraft

Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and culture. You can find his daily ramblings and culinary takes at @dreadcraft.

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Torry Threadcraft

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