Taking advantage of a special year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has decided to withdraw the performance of the national anthem from the program during local team games.
This is what Cuban confirmed to The Athletic site on Tuesday. The Texan organization has been applying this new way of doing things since the start of the campaign without having announced it publicly.
According to The Athletic, the Mavericks are the first North American professional team to remove this tradition from their pre-game protocol. To do so, they took advantage of more freedoms in the “pre-game operations” offered by the NBA due to the “unique circumstances”.
Cuban has frequently come to the defense of African-American athletes who have used their visibility to peacefully protest racial inequalities and police brutality by dropping one knee to the ground during the anthem.
NBA regulations require players to stand during the national anthem, but Commissioner Adam Silver had indicated before the start of the season that the policy was not going to be enforced in a repressive manner.
Cuban himself had criticized the importance that the anthem assumed in the United States when activities resumed last summer in Orlando. “It’s out of control,” Cuban wrote on Twitter. If you want to complain, file a complaint with your boss and ask him why he doesn’t play the national anthem every day before you start working. “