Less than 24 hours after owner Mark Cuban confirmed the Dallas Mavericks are no longer playing the National Anthem before home games, the team is changing course.
Earlier today, the NBA issued the following statement: “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 Mavericks then announced that they would play the anthem before their home game Wednesday night.
Cuban told ESPN that he made the initial decision to stop playing the anthem after consulting with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. The team hadn’t played the anthem prior to any of its home games this season.
Monday night’s game was the first this season with fans — 1,500 vaccinated health care workers — in attendance.
“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country,” Cuban said in a statement Wednesday. “But we also loudly hear the voices of those who feel that the anthem does not represent them.”
During last summer’s NBA bubble, the majority of players knelt while the anthem was played following national responses to several instances of police brutality.