Mark Cuban relents, Mavericks play national anthem before Wednesday night’s game

Sports
Hawks Mavericks Basketball

Dallas Mavericks players and staff stand during the playing of the national anthem before the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks in Dallas, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has relented on not playing the national anthem before home games this season.

The Mavericks played a pre-recorded version of the national anthem prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. Players for both teams stood at the free-throw lines during the song.

The move came shortly after the NBA reiterated its “longstanding league policy” to include the anthem.

While the Mavericks never publicly announced a change in policy regarding the playing of the national anthem, The Athletic reported Monday that the Mavericks had not played the anthem prior to the 13 games the team had hosted this season.

Cuban later confirmed the change to The Athletic and said at the time he did not intend to resume playing the song moving forward.

Initially, the NBA said it would allow teams to handle pregame ceremonies themselves given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mavericks have hosted some media members and about 1,000 fans each game this season. There were no public reports regarding the lack of the national anthem prior to Monday.

Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says he intends to introduce a bill in the Texas Senate that will ensure the national anthem is played at all events that receive public funding. He says the bill has broad support.

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