Shortly after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced that his organization would no longer play the national anthem before games, the NBA has decided that all teams must.
The Dallas Mavericks have not played the national anthem at any of the 13 NBA games that have been played so far this season at the American Airlines Center. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he made the decision after players expressed that the anthem is not representative of them.
Now, after word of his decision has spread, the NBA is stepping in to enforce league-wide rules on the matter.
Only 10 NBA teams are allowing fans into their arenas this season due to COVID-19 precautions. The Mavs’ matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday was the first time fans were permitted in and able to see their team in action at the arena.
The NBA mandates that all teams play the national anthem before games
Before other organizations have the opportunity to follow Cuban and the Mavericks’ lead, the NBA is stepping in and taking swift action to ensure that that doesn’t happen.
This decision by Adam Silver and the league is interesting given how social justice awareness played out during the NBA’s bubble last season. Players struggled to find ways to express their feelings surrounding social justice and COVID-19 related issues.
Cuban has since responded to the league’s decision. He continues to focus on his, the organization’s, and the nation’s desire to feel represented by the words that they recite in the national anthem.
Kyrie Irving has expressed the importance of social justice matters to him and was initially against the NBA bubble altogether. Some of the league’s biggest superstars including LeBron James and James Harden have also been very vocal lately about the league’s decision to have an All-Star game this season. This growing dissension between the league, owners, and players is definitely something to note as 2021 continues to be a year of great uncertainty.