NBA Announces Teams Will Be Playing The National Anthem As Fans Are Welcomed Back To Arenas
The NBA recently announced that all teams will be playing the national anthem, addressing the league’s rule on playing “The Star Spangled Banner” before games.
“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,” Mike Bass, NBA chief communications officer, said via the NBA.
If you’ve ever gone to any sporting event ever (especially pre-2020), you recall standing for the national anthem, with the public address announcer saying something to the effect of “gentlemen, please remove your hats” as a collective. It’s where people united across differing backgrounds, ethnicities, races–Americans–to sing the national anthem together in a moment of unity. Usually a spotlight would highlight the American flag in the arena and people would place their hands over their hearts.
Now, with silent protests of the anthems, teams staying in locker rooms during the anthem, players taking a knee during the anthem, and more controversy surrounding it to take a stand in highlighting the social injustice going on within our society, the playing of the national anthem has now become a lot more complicated.
So much so that Dallas Mavericks owner and that dude you see on Shark Tank, Mark Cuban, decided to completely not play the national anthem at all according to ESPN: “Cuban said during an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump that his organization has no problem playing the anthem ‘at all,’ and that the decision to not do so to this point in the season was the product of ongoing conversations with members of the community who felt the tradition ‘did not fully represent them.'”
Cuban also per ESPN “told ESPN that he had made the decision to stop playing the national anthem before home games after consulting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver. The Mavericks did not announce the change in policy, but the national anthem had not been played before any of their 13 preseason and regular-season games at the American Airlines Center this season.”
The league apparently took further notice and decided to reinforce the “longstanding league policy” to have the national anthem before games as fans reinter stands across NBA arenas league-wide.
This causes some mixed responses:
Cuban issued a statement that was released along with Bass’ statement:
“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country. But we also loudly hear the voices of those who feel that the anthem does not represent them. We feel that their voices need to be respected and heard, because they have not been. Going forward, our hope is that people will take the same passion they have for this issue and apply the same amount of energy to listen to those who feel differently from them. Only then we can move forward and have courageous conversations that move this country forward and find what unites us.”Mark Cuban, Mavericks owner, statement via the NBA
The National Anthem: “The Star Spangled Banner” before the Super Bowl:
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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