Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks received some fervent reaction to the decision to forgo playing the national anthem before games during the season.
On Wednesday, a picture began to become clearer as to why Cuban and the Mavericks made the decision.
The decision to ax the anthem was made because “many” felt like “The Star-Spangled Banner” didn’t represent them and the franchise wants to be able to represent people from all communities and backgrounds when paying tribute to the U.S. at games, The Athletic reported, citing a source close to Cuban.
The Mavericks played their first 10 home games of the regular season without fans until Monday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. About 1,500 vaccinated workers were allowed to attend the game at the American Airlines Center.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank clarified the rules to the Associated Press.
“Under the unique circumstances of this season, teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit,” Frank said.
ESPN pointed out that Goshen College, an NAIA Mennonite school in Indiana, did something similar in 2011.
Goshen College chose to play “America the Beautiful” because “it fits with our national sports tradition and honors this country, while better resonating with our Christ-centered core values (passionate learning, compassionate peacemaking, servant leadership and global citizenship) and respecting the views of our diverse constituencies. We stand by the freedom of all to express their religious faith, love for this country and hopes for change in different ways.”
Goshen College didn’t play the anthem before sporting events between 1984 and 2009 but had no official policy on it.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.