The Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars both vowed to play the national anthem before games this season in wake of the Dallas Mavericks and Mark Cuban briefly axed playing it for the start of their season.
The Mavericks and Cuban started a frenzy over the decision. But the NBA said Wednesday the league will mandate that teams play the anthem in their pregame festivities. The debate prompted statements from the Rangers and the Stars.
“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, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The Stars put a statement out on Twitter.
“The playing of the national anthem is a time-honored tradition and the Dallas Stars will continue to perform the Star-Spangled Banner prior to our games at American Airlines Center. As the only National Hockey League team in Texas, we are proud to represent our state and our country,” the team said.
The Mavericks played the anthem before their game Wednesday night.
Cuban insisted to ESPN that he wasn’t trying to “cancel” the anthem.
“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 said on “The Jump.”
“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.”
“So we’ve had a lot of conversations about whether or not we should play the anthem,” he continued. “And so during the first preseason game, we decided to not play it and just see what the response was, knowing that we were going to have ongoing conversations about it. 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. 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.”
“There was never any final decision that was made that we would not play the anthem,” Cuban added.