By JOHN KANELIS / firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop the presses!
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has backed away from his plan to forgo the playing the “Star Spangled Banner” at Mavericks home games at the American Airlines Center.
Huh? Hey, it’s OK with me. So, too, was his prior decision to skip playing the National Anthem.
But now the NBA has restated its pro basketball league policy that involves playing the Anthem. As The Associated Press reported:
The league’s initial reaction to Cuban’s decision was to say teams were free to conduct pregame activities as they wished with the unusual circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic. Most teams don’t have fans at home games.
But the NBA abruptly reversed course with Cuban’s decision reverberating around the country, including a question put to White House press secretary Jen Psaki during her daily briefing. Athlete protests of social and racial injustice during the “The Star-Spangled Banner” became a flashpoint between then-President Donald Trump and various leagues during his administration.
“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 league said.
Are we clear on that? My hope now is that Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, whose shorts got all twisted up because of Cuban’s decision to skip the Anthem, can concentrate now on legitimate legislative business, rather than pushing the Texas Senate — over which he presides — to pass a Star Spangled Banner bill that makes playing the Anthem mandatory at all sporting events in Texas.