Mark Cuban Dallas Mavericks

Yesterday, we reported the NBA released a statement saying that all teams in the league must play the national anthem before basketball games. The NBA addressed the issue after it was reported that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stopped playing “The Star Spangled Banner” before home games.

Now, Cuban has broken his silence about the scandal, and he appears to be backtracking.

Cuban Attempts To Backtrack

“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 told ESPN.

“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 added. “So we’ve had a lot of conversations about whether or not we should play the anthem.”

That’s why Cuban decided “to not play it and just see what the response was, knowing that we were going to have ongoing conversations about it.”

Full Story: Dallas Mavericks’ Owner Mark Cuban Cancels National Anthem Before Games

Cuban Claims He ‘Didn’t Cancel The National Anthem’

“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,” he claimed. “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.”

Cuban concluded by alleging that “there was never any final decision that was made that we would not play the anthem.”

Cuban is conveniently ignoring the fact that he confirmed to The Atlantic that he was the one decided that the national anthem would no longer be played during Mavericks games. And, that it would not be played for the foreseeable future.

Mavericks Coach Throws Cuban Under The Bus

When asked about this situation on Wednesday, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle appeared to place the blame squarely on Cuban.

“It’s an animated discussion, which is certainly not surprising,” Carlisle said. “This was Mark’s decision. He was steadfast about it.”

“He had his reasons, and I know he released a statement about it, explaining his reasons,” he added. “I also know moving forward we will be playing the anthem at all home games, along with every other team in the league. It’s been quite a day.”

Related: NBA Fires Back After Mark Cuban Cancels National Anthem Before Games

Mavericks Team Releases Statement 

The Mavericks confirmed on Wednesday night that the team would play the national anthem before all games moving forward.  

The team also released a statement from Cuban in which he said that while they “respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country,” they 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,” he continued.

However, the Mavericks played the anthem before their game Wednesday night.

The Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers both issued statements confirming they will be playing the national anthem 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 said.

Clearly, Cuban thought that he could get away with quietly “cancelling” the national anthem. And, he’s been shocked to learn that he was dead wrong.

Reports circulated yesterday stating that the Mavericks had decided to not play the national anthem at all moving forward. But, Cuban issued no clarification of this until the NBA finally shut him down.

At this point, Cuban should just own up to the fact that he really did try to “cancel” the national anthem.

The American people are smarter than he thinks and many won’t be buying what he’s selling about this story anytime soon. 

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