Dallas Stars clarify anthem stance amid Mark Cuban controversy
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban created controversy for himself and his organization — not to mention the NBA — this week by confirming the national anthem was not being played at the team’s home games at American Airlines Center this season at his direction.
The Dallas Stars, seemingly attempted to capitalize on Cuban’s stance by issuing a statement Wednesday in which the NHL organization touted its patriotism and respect for the anthem.
We have issued the following statement regarding the National Anthem. pic.twitter.com/7ZR7HXMW73— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) February 10, 2021
“The national anthem is a time-honored tradition and the Dallas Stars will continue to perform the Star-Spangled Banner prior to our games at American Airlines Center,” the team shared on Twitter. “As the only National Hockey League team in Texas, we are proud to represent our state and our country.”
As the firestorm caused by Cuban confirming to The Athletic his anthem policy quickly ignited this week, it was relayed to Shams Chaania what motivated the outspoken Mavericks owner to take such a potentially polarizing stance.
Source close to Mark Cuban says decision to not play Anthem before Mavs games isn’t because they don’t love U.S., but because many feel anthem doesn’t represent them, and they want to continue discussion of how to represent people from all communities when honoring U.S. at game.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 10, 2021
As the news of Cuban’s anthem policy began making waves across sports media and beyond, the NBA did some proactive damage control by declaring Wednesday that all league teams will play the anthem before games going forward.
Cuban has since issued a statement in which he states he will comply with the league’s directives concerning the anthem. The Mavs will begin to follow the NBA’s newly clarified anthem protocols beginning Wednesday night before a game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks will resume playing the Anthem tonight vs. Atlanta. Statement from Cuban, in part: “The hope is that those who feel passionate about the anthem being played will be just as passionate in listening to those who do not feel it represents them.” pic.twitter.com/XnXpd8ThlW— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 10, 2021
“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country,” Cuban said in a news release. “I have always stood for the anthem with the hand over my heart — no matter where I hear it played. But we also hear the voices of those who do not feel the anthem represents them. We feel they also need to be respected and heard, because they have not been heard.
“The hope is that those who feel passionate about the anthem being played will be just as passionate in listening to those who do not feel it represents them.”
The NBA presumably was motivated to take a firm position on the pregame national anthem by the desire to avoid a public relations disaster. The Stars, on the other hand, perhaps were hoping to capitalize on the drama surrounding its fellow Dallas-based professional sports team and make itself look more patriotic in the process.