NBA Commissioner Adam Silver weighed in on the controversy regarding Dallas Mavericks owner, and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban’s peculiar decision to stop playing the national anthem at his team’s games at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
When asked if he is cool with Cuban’s ban of the anthem, Silver essentially said, “it’s a no for me.”
So as of today, the Mavs, and every NBA team is going to have to play the anthem before games “in keeping with longstanding league policy.”
NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said this in a statement. “With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming back fans into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy.”
The Mavericks have not played the national anthem at any game this season, and Cuban told The Athletic that was his idea. On Wednesday, after the NBA’s order mandating the playing of the anthem, Cuban told the New York Times: “We are good with it.”
It’s been a rollercoaster week regarding the anthem issue with the NBA. Tuesday an NBA spokesman told the AP that “under the unique circumstances of the season, teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit.”
That message was trumped by Wednesday’s announcement, and with more teams in the NBA slowly allowing limited numbers of fans to watch the game live in person, the league wanted to be aligned with all teams.
Cuban had one final statement Wednesday saying his team will follow the rules and play the anthem that night against Atlanta. “We respect and always have respect the passion people have for the anthem and our country,” the statement began. “I have always stood for the anthem with the hand over my heart – no matter where I hear it played.”