Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says the national anthem isn’t being played before games at American Airlines Center, and he has no plans to play it going forward. The team owner refused to comment further when reached by The Athletic.
According to the outlet, Cuban and the team didn’t make it known they were going to remove the anthem from the pregame routine, but “a number of team employees only noticed the removal of the anthem on their own.” Those employees also say there was no explanation as to why the anthem was removed.
Cuban, who usually isn’t shy about sharing his opinion on current events, was silent Tuesday night when The Athletic dropped its report.
During a July Twitter argument with Ted Cruz, the Mavs owner ended one of his tweets by writing, “I can say I care about this country first and last.”
Cuban has been outspoken about supporting players for taking a knee during the anthem. Now the owner has gone a step further and removed the anthem altogether. No more kneeling or anthem. Cuban has spoken.
“If they were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them. Hopefully I’d join them,” Cuban told Outside The Lines in June.
Three years ago, Cuban had a different tone.
“This is America, and I’m proud of people who speak out civilly. That’s who we are as a country,” Cuban said at the time. “I’ll be standing there with my hand over my heart. I think the players will be [standing]. I expect them to be.”
NBA Insider® Shams Charnia reports a source close to Cuban tells him the anthem decision “isn’t because they don’t love U.S., but because many feel anthem doesn’t represent them, and they want to continue discussion of how to represent people from all communities when honoring U.S. at game.”