Before the start of the 2020-2021 NBA season, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, directed his team to stop playing the national anthem prior to home games. So far, the team has not played the anthem for any one of their eleven home games this season and does not plan to play it moving forward.
No statement has been made by Cuban as to why the decision was made.
The absence of the anthem was more noticeable at a recent home game at a Maverick’s home game at American Airlines Center where the team hosted 1,500 vaccinated essential workers. It was the first time they had played in front of fans all season.
NBA anthem policy dictates that players and team staff must stand along the foul lines during the playing of the national anthem(s). However, during the restart of the NBA’s season last year, commissioner Adam Silver decided not to enforce the rule amidst peaceful protests by the players against acts of police brutality towards people of color. The standpoint, then, being that the league would allow players to do what they felt was right when it comes to the playing roof of the anthem.
While the anthem is a tradition across sports and athletic events across the country and around the world to pay tribute to men and women serving in the military, the Constitution also grants them the right to peacefully protest. The decision to not play the anthem is a peaceful way of showing recognition that the country is not living up the American ideal. Perhaps that is what we are seeing from the Dallas Mavericks organization.