Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Stopped Playing National Anthem Before Home Games in Dallas

It took 13 games for people to notice the change

Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Has Stopped Playing National Anthem
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban watches his team.
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Including Monday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, none of the 13 preseason and regular-season games played on the home floor of the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center this season have featured the anthem before tipoff.

Though he did not publicize the anthem’s removal or offer further comment or explanation, team owner Mark Cuban confirmed it was his decision to get rid of the song to The Athletic.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the rest of the league were made aware of the change and there were no complaints, according to The Dallas Morning News.

“Under the unique circumstances of this season, teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit,” NBA spokesman Tim Frank said, according to The Associated Press.

Though some were aware of the change, not many people seemed to notice the anthem’s absence after Cuban and the team opted not to publicize its removal.

The Mavericks have diverted from the norm with their pregame presentation in the past as the team played “God Bless America” before games for the franchise’s first 16 seasons.

When the NBA resumed its season in the bubble over the summer in Florida, Cuban voiced his support for Dallas players and coaches kneeling during the anthem. “If they were taking a knee, and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them,” Cuban told ESPN in July. “Hopefully, I’d join them.”

Two days after making those comments, Cuban tweeted: “The National Anthem Police in this country are out of control. 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.”

Texas Senator Ted Cruz did not like that line of thinking, and he got into it on Twitter with Cuban in a back-and-forth debate that included taunts about testicular fortitude.

Monday’s home game against Minnesota was the first played this season with a limited amount of fans in attendance. Dallas won 127-122 behind 27 points from Kristaps Porzingis. Cuban has not said if the anthem’s disappearance is a season-long move and there is a chance it could return now that fans are back in attendance.

Though Cuban’s decision will now be a hot debate topic with support on both sides of the issue, the fact that it took 13 games for anyone to even notice the removal of the national anthem underscores how little of an impact it made given the reality of today.

UPDATE: The NBA has weighed in on the discussion. Cuban may not like what it had to say.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!