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NBA to Continue to Play National Anthem

NBA to Continue to Play National Anthem

On Tuesday, the Dallas Mavericks announced that the organization will no longer play the National Anthem before games when owner Mark Cuban informed ESPN earlier this week.

A surprising move that nobody saw coming is just one of many during the current state of reform in the United States.

Cuban then went on to explain that the reason for not playing the anthem was not about “not loving the U.S.”.

NBA to Continue to Play National Anthem
Image Courtesy of Michael Reaves/ Getty Images

“In listening to the community, there were quite a few people that voiced their concerns that the national anthem did not fully represent them,” Cuban told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.

Despite an official announcement from Dallas, they still had stretches without playing the anthem. In several games during the preseason and regular season, Dallas had not played the national anthem. Makes fans wonder had the statement not come out, how much longer could the Mavericks continue to do that?

The NBA was quick to respond. Just 24 hours later, league officials announced that the national anthem must be played before games in according with a longstanding league policy. The league made sure to emphasize this rule since fans are starting to come back into arenas.

One thing’s for sure: the Dallas Mavericks have sparked a debate that will start to become a hot topic.

Support for Dallas

Several players were in support of the Mavericks’ actions. New Orleans head coach Stan Van Gundy was also vocal about his support.

“This should happen everywhere,” Van Gundy said via Twitter. “If you think the anthem needs to be played before sporting events, then play it before every movie, concert, church service and the start of every workday at every business.”

The latest moves by the league were first started last year in the NBA Bubble in Orlando, Florida. When the coronavirus stopped games midseason last year, the NBA had an opportunity.

NBA to Continue to Play National Anthem
Image Courtesy of Ashley Landis/ Associated Press

When the league officially restarted in July, it took the opportunity to use the platform to voice for social reform. The main idea was for reform against police brutality. The league had messages on the courts in Orlando, while allowing players to have messages on jerseys.

Since then, prolific players like LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving and so many more have done their part to work towards change.

The NBA hasn’t been the only professional league to work for social justice. The WBNA dedicated the last season towards social justice. The league partnered with several organizations including Black Lives Matter, Rock the Vote and many more.

All of these examples of professional athletes, leagues and owners doing their part to better society. The Mavericks example is just the latest one to occur.

Backlash and Moving Forward

With all the support Dallas has received, there’s also been some backlash.

Criticism ranging from the acts being unpatriotic to the topic being more than sports have been debated about the issue.

A good question to ask is why the NBA? The NFL just wrapped up the biggest game of the year; why hasn’t this topic been talked about with that professional league.

After all, the NFL did make an emphasis on who would perform the national anthem before Super Bowl 55. Those performers were Jazmine Sullivan and Erick Church.

Regardless of what other leagues are doing, the NBA has a plan with what it wants to do.

Since the NBA’s front office was fast in responding, don’t be surprised if the league would enforce a decision like not playing the national anthem to be league wide. League officials wouldn’t allow a decision like that to be made up to the teams individually.

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