The NBA said on Wednesday that all teams will continue play the National Anthem before games, in accordance with policy. The directive came a day after the Dallas Mavericks announced they no longer would play the song. NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass said in a statement: “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.”
Dallas has not played the Star-Spangled Banner before any of their 13 regular or preseason games which were played this season at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban responded after the league’s statement and said the team will play the anthem Wednesday in Dallas, saying in a statement: “We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country. I have always stood for the anthem with the hand over my heart — no matter where I hear it played. 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 respected and heard.”
Cuban had said on Tuesday that he directed the team to stop the pregame tradition. saying he consulted NBA commissioner Adam Silver on the issue last November. NBA rules have required players to stand during the national anthem since the 1980s, but Silver has not disciplined players who have knelt in recent years in protest.
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