Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, a franchise in the National Basketball Association – one of the four major league sports that’s seen a spiraling decline in viewership since taking on a social justice aura in the last few years – decided to further alienate his fan base by declaring that his team would no longer play the national anthem before games.
Such a move would not go over all that well in that part of the country, most Americans would agree.
“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,” the league said in a statement.
The league handbook also says that the players are to STAND during the playing of the national anthem, but the commissioner has not had that rule enforced of late, perhaps leading to the Mavericks owner thinking it was all fine and dandy to go rogue on the matter.
— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) February 10, 2021
Cuban has not provided details about the process that led to the decision. In response to NPR’s request for comment on Wednesday, a Mavericks representative confirmed only that the team hasn’t been playing the anthem.
“The National Anthem Police in this country are out of control,” Cuban said in a July 2020 tweet. “If you want to complain, complain to your boss and ask why they don’t play the National Anthem every day before you start work.”
Whatever world the players and some of the owners of NBA teams are living in, it’s not this one, where businessmen don’t alienate their customer base and expect to make a profit.
Source close to Mark Cuban says decision to not play Anthem before Mavs games isn’t because they don’t love U.S., but because many feel anthem doesn’t represent them, and they want to continue discussion of how to represent people from all communities when honoring U.S. at game.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 10, 2021
At least somebody in the NBA league office gets that if the rest of the inhabitants of the sport don’t.
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