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#pounditSaturday, May 8, 2021

NBA will require teams to play national anthem before games

Adam Silver

The Dallas Mavericks have chosen not to play the national anthem prior to home games this season, and the NBA is not going to allow that to continue.

The NBA announced in a statement on Wednesday that all teams will be required to play the national anthem before games going forward.

“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,” NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass said.

A story that was published in The Athletic on Tuesday called attention to the fact that the Mavericks have not played the anthem before home games since the start of the season. Team owner Mark Cuban chose not to comment on the story, but he released a statement on Wednesday saying the Mavericks will comply with the policy.

Cuban said in 2017 that he would be standing for the anthem and expected his players to do the same. He changed his stance last year and explained why in an interview. Cuban has shown he is not concerned with alienating fans who will be upset by this decision.

It was initially believed that the Mavericks could continue skipping the anthem, as the NBA has been allowing teams to decide how they want to conduct pregame activities amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, league officials obviously want the national anthem to be played.

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