Dallas, TX – The National Basketball League (NBA) issued a mandate prohibiting teams from skipping the playing of the National Anthem after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced Tuesday that his team would be omitting the “Star-Spangled Banner” for the rest of the basketball season.
“It was my decision, and I made it in November,” Cuban told The New York Times.
NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass issued a statement to the contrary just one day later, according to Sports Illustrated.
“With NBA teams now in process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy,” Bass wrote in the mandate.
Cuban quickly confirmed that the Dallas Mavericks would comply with the order, The New York Times reported.
“We’re good with it,” he told the paper.
He also told The Athletic that the team would resume playing the National Anthem.
The Mavericks hadn’t played the National Anthem at games this year, fueling speculation about what was going on, but the team hadn’t previously announced that omitting the “Star-Spangled Banner” was actually team policy until Feb. 9.
“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country,” Cuban said in a statement after the NBA’s mandate. “But we also loudly 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.”
“Going forward, our hope is that people will take the same passion they have for this issue and apply the same amount of energy to listen to those who feel differently from them,” he wrote. “Only then we can move forward and have courageous conversations that move this country forward and find what unites us.”
Cuban’s initial decision to scrap the National Anthem ahead of the Mavericks’ games prompted members of the Texas GOP to voice their support for Senate Bill 4, which has been dubbed the “Star-Spangled Banner Protection Act,” KBTX reported.
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said on Wednesday that the bill was created in order to “ensure that the national anthem is played at all events which receive public funding,” according to the news outlet.
“It is hard to believe this could happen in Texas, but Mark Cuban’s actions of yesterday made it clear that we must specify that in Texas we play the national anthem before all major events,” Patrick said in a press release.
“In this time when so many things divide us, sports are one thing that bring us together — right, left, black, white and brown,” the lieutenant governor continued. “This legislation already enjoys broad support. I am certain it will pass, and the Star-Spangled Banner will not be threatened in the Lone Star State again.”