Mavericks’ Owner Breaks NBA Policy

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Blake Darmante, Broadcast Editor

For generations, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has maintained a league policy that requires teams to play the national anthem before all games, but this policy was recently violated by Mavericks (Mavs) owner Mark Cuban. 

In 2000, Mark Cuban purchased the Mavericks and became the sole owner of the iconic Dallas, TX franchise team. Since then, the Mavs have had relative success in the NBA securing victory in the 2011 championship game. However, the team’s league relevance and media presence decreased significantly after their 2011 win. 

After years of neglect from the media, the Mavs and their owner have once again been brought to the forefront of NBA coverage, but not for reasons related to their “game.” Breaking policy, the Mavs owner (Cuban) decided in February that their stadium would no longer play the national anthem. According to, Cuban’s motives were driven by his community and after “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.” also reported that Cuban not playing the anthem was an attempt at social change. Cuban believes that “when you create social change, it’s never going to be easy. We saw that all summer long. There were a lot of people who tried to stand up for what they believe in and weren’t really heard.”

While Cuban was focused on representation and change, not everybody perceived his actions the same. Some, such as Pelicans Head-Coach, Stan Van Gundy, supported Cuban and even went on to Tweet “This should happen everywhere. 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?” said Gundy 

In contrast to Gundy, there were others who did not agree with the Mavs not playing the national anthem. The most prominent figure who spoke out against Cuban and his franchise was none other than TX Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick who said on his Twitter account “it is hard to believe this could happen in Texas, but Mark Cuban’s actions of yesterday made it clear that we must specify that in Texas we play the national anthem before all major events.” Patrick continued “in this time when so many things divide us, sports are one thing that bring us together —right, left, Black, white and brown.”

The NBA was not silent in the matter either. After Cuban violated the league policy, NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass made a statement which can be found on 

“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,” said Bass 

While the NBA was not tolerant of Cuban’s course of action, Cuban has reported on ESPN’s “The Jump” that his position remains the same because “these are difficult conversations that are not going to go away, whether or not we play the national anthem,” said Cuban 

Regardless, the Mavs and all other NBA teams will be playing the national anthem at all games from this point forward.