Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is facing after deciding to discontinue the playing of the national anthem before games.
‘Get woke, go broke!’ tweeted Forth Worth (Texas) Police Officers’ Association vice president Anthony White. ‘I won’t spend another cent on @dallasmavs.’
Cuban told The Athletic that he made the decision back in November, but did not elaborate on why he did so. A spokesman for the team confirmed the decision to DailyMail.com, but declined further comment. Cuban has not responded to DailyMail.com’s email requesting a deeper explanation.
The decision went unnoticed for 13 games, according to the The Athletic, as it was not publicized or explained internally and fans had not been allowed to attend games due to coronavirus restrictions. Monday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves was the first time a limited number of fans had been allowed into the American Airlines Center.
This is believed to be the first time that that any team from the four major American professional sports leagues has refused to play the national anthem before games.
In an email to the Washington Post, Cuban denied a report by The Athletic that the team plans to stop playing the anthem going forward: ‘That is incorrect. We have given no comment on what our plans are.’
Although Cuban has continuously supported athletes exercising free speech, in a 2017 interview with ESPN, he said he planned on standing for the anthem with his ‘hand over [his] heart,’ adding that he expected his players to join him.