Mark Cuban: National Anthem Will Be Played at Wednesday's Dallas Mavericks Game

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sparked comments when he announced that the team would not play [...]

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sparked comments when he announced that the team would not play the national anthem before home games. The NBA responded with a statement saying that "all teams" would play the national anthem. Cuban has since confirmed that the team will play the song before Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Hawks.

"We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country," Cuban said in a statement, per AP News. "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." Cuban continued and made comments about the people who oppose protests during the national anthem.

"Our hope is that going forward 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," Cuban continued. "Then we can move forward and have courageous conversations that move this country forward and find what unites us."

Before the back-and-forth with the NBA, Cuban had quietly opted out of playing the national anthem prior to games in the 2020-21 season. The team held the first 10 matchups without fans in attendance but allowed 1,500 vaccinated essential workers to attend Monday's victory over Minnesota for free. The Athletic later reported that the Mavericks had not played the anthem before any games during this season, making the choice with the understanding that "someone would eventually notice."

Several people responded to Cuban's decision not to play the national anthem. Some criticized him and said that he needs to sell the Texas-based team, while others expressed support. New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy was among the group that supported Cuban.

"This should happen everywhere," Van Gundy tweeted. "If you think the anthem needs to be played before sporting events, then play it before every movie, concert, church service and the start of every work day at every business. What good reason is there to play the anthem before a game?"

The NBA rulebook states that all players must stand during the national anthem. However, the league did not enforce these rules during the season restart in Orlando, Florida. Commissioner Adam Silver declined to enforce the rule and said that players could kneel during the national anthem. Many did so while wearing different names and phrases on their jerseys to support the Black Lives Matter movement.