A day after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban confirmed that he had decided to stop playing the national anthem before home games, the NBA has forced him to reverse course.
The NBA released a statement saying that the national anthem will be played before every 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,” the NBA said.
In a statement of his own, Cuban acknowledged he will go along with the NBA’s rule but also said he wants to look out for the interests of people who do not feel the anthem represents them.
“The hope is that those who feel passionate about the anthem being played will be just as passionate in listening to those who do not feel it represents them,” Cuban said.
The NFL has been at the forefront of protests during the national anthem, with Colin Kaepernick becoming the first to kneel during the anthem and scores of other players joining him to protest police misconduct and racial injustice. The NBA initially required all players to stand for the anthem, but reversed course last year and allowed players to kneel. But not playing the anthem at all is not something the NBA is willing to let teams do.