Dallas Mavericks ordered by NBA to play national anthem before games
"All teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy"
Dallas Mavericks have been told by the NBA that they must play The Star-Spangled Banner before home games, having previously announced plans to scrap the playing of the national anthem prior to games.
The franchise had not played the national anthem before any of its home games this season, with owner Mark Cuban confirming to ESPN that they had no intention of bringing it back as fans began to return to games.
Cuban claimed to have made the decision after consulting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, but a statement from Mike Bass, the NBA's chief communications officer, states that the Mavs will not be able to press ahead with any such plans.
"With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy," Bass said.
Responding to Bass, Cuban stressed that it was never his intention to disrespect the anthem of the United States.
Statement by Mark Cuban pic.twitter.com/OmtMNFUz1K
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) February 10, 2021
"I have always stood for the anthem with the hand over my heart, no matter where I hear it played," Cuban said via a statement.
"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."