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NBA says all teams will play the national anthem, Dallas Mavs say anthem will play at Wednesday game

"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 in a statement.

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NBA basketball in 2009
NBA basketball in 2009
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Updated: February 10, 2021 - 10:40pm

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On the heels of news that the Dallas Mavericks had not been playing the national anthem prior to preseason and regular-season home games this season, the NBA said in a statement on Wednesday that all teams will play the national anthem.

"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 in a statement.

The Athletic recently reported that the Dallas Mavericks had stopped playing the anthem prior to home games and there were no plans to start playing it in the future—the choice had been made by owner Mark Cuban who confirmed it to the outlet. ESPN had also reported that Cuban confirmed that the team had nixed playing the anthem before home games at his direction. ESPN reported that Cuban made the choice after consulting with Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner.

The Dallas Mavericks PR Twitter account on Wednesday tweeted that the national anthem will play before Wednesday's game. The tweet also included a statement from Mark Cuban: 

"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," Cuban said in the statement. "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."

When White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked during Wednesday's press briefing about Cuban's decision to stop playing the anthem at his team's games, she said that she had not talked with the president about Cuban's decision, though she said that she knows Biden is "incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem" as well as everything that the anthem "represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform around the world."

She said that Biden would additionally say that pride in America "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. 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."

 

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