The NBA’s Dallas Mavericks have decided after years of debate and criticism to do away with playing the national anthem before games.
Mavericks owners Mark Cuban told The Athletic on Monday evening that the team has ceased playing the national anthem before home games this season, as none of the 13 regular-season home games have featured the anthem before the game.
The NBA has said that due to the unique circumstances surround the current season, all teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit.
In 2017, Cuban had said he would stand with his hand over his heart during the anthem and hoped his players would do so as well.
In June, however, Cuban said that he would side with players on the matter.
“If they were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them,” Cuban said. “Hopefully I’d join them.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said before the season started that it his expectation that teams will start standing for the anthem again.
“I recognize that this is a very emotional issue on both sides of the equation in America right now,” Silver said in December. “I think it calls for real engagement rather than rule enforcement.”