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Mark Cuban defends himself, Mavs amid war of words with Ted Cruz

Mark Cuban recently engaged in a war of words with Texas senator Ted Cruz amid the ongoing debate surrounding players kneeling during the national anthem.

To defend himself over Cruz’s condemnatory remarks, the Dallas Mavericks owner referred to the organization’s longstanding dedication to military veterans and profound respect for local police departments.

The dispute between Cuban and Cruz stemmed from the Mavs owner firing back at a Texas talk show radio host who stated he wouldn’t support the team if players kneeled during the anthem.

The beef between Mark Davis and Cuban inspired the latter to bemoan the “national anthem police,” which led Cruz calling out the Mavericks owner on social media. Cuban then responded in kind to Cruz.

Amid the simmering feud, Cuban spoke to Sam Amick of The Athletic about the situation, and while doing so alluded to the Mavericks’ outreach to wounded military vets over the years.

“We honor our veterans and thank them every day,” Cuban said. “We have had Seats for Soldiers every year for the past 15 years where we fly in wounded soldiers who have made incredible sacrifices for our country and honor them by partnering with our season ticket holders and giving them every front row seat around the court.”

Cuban went on to point out how the Mavericks organization enjoys a solid working relationship with local police departments when it comes to community outreach initiatives and the like.

“While we don’t have a singular day for our officers, we have incredible programs with the Dallas and local Police Departments,” he said. “Our players, our staff, our community relations group work very closely to recognize them and to create programs that allow local kids to get to know them better and recognize the hard work they put in. “

Cuban added he does not support the controversial “Defund the Police” movement. Instead, Cuban is a proponent of “allowing them to focus on their core competencies and sharing other responsibilities with those outside the [Dallas Police Department].”

The war of words between Cuban and Cruz of course comes amid a broader debate related to activism by professional athletes and organizations amid recent outcry over systemic racism and social injustice.

The polarization of these issues in the sports world unsurprisingly has ramped up as many leagues prepare to either restart or resume their seasons. Expect it to continue in the coming weeks and months.