After Mark Cuban’s decision to nix the national anthem from his Dallas Mavericks’ pregame routine, press secretary Jen Psaki noted in a press briefing on Wednesday that the White House supports the decision because the team allegedly doesn’t feel the anthem represents them.
Psaki stated that President Biden is “proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem.” But she also claimed, in an attempt to have it both ways, that Biden would support the team for pointing out that “we as a country haven’t lived up to our highest ideals.”
“He’d also say that, of course, that part of pride in our country means recognizing moments where we as a country haven’t lived up to our highest ideals, which is often, and at times what people are speaking to when they take action at sporting events,” Psaki stated. “And it means respecting the right of people, granted to them in the Constitution, to peacefully protest. That’s why he ran for president in the first place, and that’s what he’s focused on doing every day.”
After Cuban put himself in the spotlight for confirming that he axed playing the national anthem before the Mavericks’ 13 pre-season games as well as their 12 regular-season games at the American Airlines Center, the billionaire team owner was forced to reimplement playing it by the NBA who mandated that all teams play the anthem prior to their games.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
Cuban has long supported players kneeling during the national anthem in protest. The Biden White House’s support of the practice is the exact opposite of the stance taken by the Trump administration.
“Source close to Mark Cuban says decision to not play Anthem before Mavs games isn’t because they don’t love U.S., but because many feel anthem doesn’t represent them, and they want to continue discussion of how to represent people from all communities when honoring U.S. at game,” sportswriter Shams Charania noted.
Source close to Mark Cuban says decision to not play Anthem before Mavs games isn’t because they don’t love U.S., but because many feel anthem doesn’t represent them, and they want to continue discussion of how to represent people from all communities when honoring U.S. at game.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 10, 2021
Cuban’s players allegedly supported his view on not playing The Star-Spangled Banner.
Jalen Brunson voiced his respect and devotion to the Mavericks owner. “That means a lot for myself and obviously for my teammates, especially coming from Mark,” Brunson stated on the Mavericks website. “Mark’s an owner who is very involved, to say the least. For him to have his voice and use it the way he does, no matter what the situation, it shows what type of person he is.”
“He’s someone you’ll run through a wall for,” he proclaimed. “And he’s someone who always has your back, no matter what the situation is. I’ve learned that in my 2.5 years here. And he’s a guy who’s for his players, for the guys coaching the players.”
Cuban, in an interview with ESPN, was adamant that his intention was not to cancel the national anthem.
“We’re always talking to our community. That’s something [Mavericks CEO Cynthia Marshall] stands for and is very insistent upon and has become a core part of who we are at the Dallas Mavericks,” Cuban said.
“In listening to the community, there were quite a few people who voiced their concerns, really their fears that the national anthem did not fully represent them, that their voices were not being heard,” he continued.
“So we’ve had a lot of conversations about whether or not we should play the anthem,” he added. “And so during the first preseason game, we decided to not play it and just see what the response was, knowing that we were going to have ongoing conversations about it. We didn’t make any decision to never play the national anthem then — that wasn’t the case at all. We didn’t cancel the national anthem. We still had our flag flying proud up on the wall at the American Airlines Center and everybody had the opportunity to address it and pray to it or salute to it or whatever their feelings are.”
“There was never any final decision that was made that we would not play the anthem,” Cuban concluded.
Other Texas teams were quick to let it be known that they intended to play the national anthem no matter what Cuban did. The Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars are both vowing to play it before their games.
“We strongly support playing the national anthem before Rangers home games. It is an important tradition that we will continue to honor at Globe Life Field,” Rangers chairman and managing partner Ray Davis ardently stated.
The Dallas Stars released an equally passionate statement via Twitter:
“The playing of the National Anthem is a time-honored tradition and the Dallas Stars will continue to perform the Star-Spangled Banner prior to our games at American Airlines Center. As the only National Hockey League team in Texas, we are proud to represent our state and our country.”
We have issued the following statement regarding the National Anthem. pic.twitter.com/7ZR7HXMW73
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) February 10, 2021
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