The NBA is doing the most right now.
The league is currently willing to die on a hill that might be as unnecessary as a winter coat in Miami.
After Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban decided to stop playing the National Anthem before Dallas home games this season, the NBA responded today by releasing a statement that said all teams will have to play the national anthem per league policy.
The craziest part of the story is that Cuban and the Mavericks had not played the Anthem at any of their 13 of their home games so far this season, and no one even noticed until a few days ago. The team allowed fans to attend games for the first time all season on Monday.
The Mavericks will play the Anthem moving forward, starting with their game against Atlanta on Wednesday. Cuban released a statement following the decision.
Cuban also joined The Jump today to address the controversy surrounding his decisions on the anthem.
ESPN reported that Cuban originally decided to cut the anthem in November after consulting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
The National Anthem has been controversial in the sports landscape for years now. Colin Kaepernick and a plethora of other athletes have demonstrated during the song to bring attention to racial injustice in this country. The NBA relaxed its policy on forcing players to stand for the national anthem during the Orlando bubble after months of increased racial tensions following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.
For many Americans especially people of color, the anthem invoked many emotions that aren’t positive. A lot of Black and brown people have a complex relationship with America that isn’t represented through the Star-Spangled Banner. The song itself was written by a slave owner and has racist lyrics.
Aside from all of the problematic issues that swirl around this song, what makes this conversation even more aggravating is the fact that many people can’t even justify the need for playing the anthem before a sporting event outside of the fact that it is a common practice. We’ve been unnecessarily playing this song before sporting events for decades with little benefit from it just for the heck of it.
Do they play the national anthem before you go to work every day? Do they play it before Congress tries to make a law? Do they play it before the Grammys?
So what makes the anthem so important that it deserves to be played before every sporting event?
Absolutely nothing, it’s honestly just a big waste of everyone’s time and energy. And that’s no disrespect to the women and men of the military who risk their lives for our safety. If we are keeping it real, playing the anthem doesn’t benefit them anyway. What would benefit them would be supporting causes that help make veterans’ lives better once they leave the service or getting Congress to pass legislation to help veterans adjust to regular life once they are off the battlefield.
The NBA’s position on keeping the anthem is ridiculous and unnecessary. Cuban tried to free us and the league from the pointless gesture but the NBA couldn’t see the bigger picture.