Ted Cruz, Mark Cuban taunt each other in heated battle over national anthem, NBA’s ties to China

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GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban feuded online Monday over issues involving protests by athletes during the playing of the National Anthem and the NBA’s cozy relationship with Communist China.

The heated exchange began after KSKY talk radio host Mark Davis tagged Cuban in a Twitter post saying, “the minute one player kneels during the anthem, I am OUT,” a reference to American professional athletes who take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem before games in recent years.

“I am so ready to be be [sic] in on this year’s #Mavericks home stretch:  so much promise, so much personality.  But the minute one player kneels during the anthem, I am OUT. Surely @mcuban can lead the way for #Mavs, #NBA to do whatever gesture they wish without insulting the nation,” Davis wrote.

Cuban responded to Davis by writing, “Bye,” then adding in another tweet, “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.”



**Warning: Strong language

Cruz took a screenshot of Cuban’s response and wrote, without tagging him, “NBA is telling everyone who stands for the flag, who honors our cops and our veterans, to ‘piss off’?  In Texas, no less?”

In response, the billionaire entrepreneur and co-host of “Shark Tank” told Cruz to “have some balls, for once.”

“Speak to me. It’s my tweet,” he added.

Cruz then responded, “Speaking of balls, tell us what you think about China. I’ll wait.”

The NBA has received widespread criticism for its deepening relationship with China, a country known to be responsible for the coronavirus and which is considered by the United States to be its chief rival in the same vein as the former Soviet Union during the Cold War.

That relationship was exposed last year after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey voiced his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

The league apologized to China after Morey’s tweeted remarks, calling them “regrettable.” Morey went on to delete his tweet and issue an apology.

In response, the Chinese government canceled an NBA event in Shanghai and the state-run CCTV canceled airing NBA preseason games in October.

When Cuban did not response to Cruz’s question about China, the Texas Republican tweeted a series of questions to the Mavericks owner.

“Let’s try simpler. Mark, tough guy, can you say ‘Free Hong Kong’? Can your players put that on their jerseys? Can you condemn the CCP’s concentration camps w/ 1 million Uyghurs? Can you say ANYTHING other than ‘Chairman Mao is beautiful & wise’?” Cruz wrote.

Cuban responded with “Black Lives Matter” as he criticized the senator’s response to coronavirus, which is inexplicable given that lone senators do not determine national or even statewide policies regarding outbreaks.

He also tweeted clips of himself being critical of China.

“Why is it, @tedcruz, that you take such pride in standing up to and speaking truth to the Chinese, but you have no ability to stand up to and speak the truth to @realdonaldtrump?” Cuban wrote.

Cruz answered, “I agree there is a pandemic & we have taken extraordinary steps to defeat it. Where did that pandemic originate? Why did Communist China COVER UP the Wuhan outbreak & arrest whistle-blowers? And why are you terrified to say ONE WORD about China?”

Others were critical of Cuban and the NBA’s ties to China as well.


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