Despite smugly taking credit for his NBA franchise the Dallas Mavericks cancelling The Star-Spangled Banner before home games, owner Mark Cuban has now shockingly claimed plausible deniability and denied he instigated the ban.
Bombastic billionaire Cuban unabashedly announced the notion to ban playing the US national anthem before Mavericks home games at the American Airlines Center “was my decision, and I made it in November”.
His alleged initiative conveniently outdid the do-gooding NBA by one month, as league commissioner Adam Silver called for the rule requiring players to stand during the anthem not to be enforced and characterised it an “emotional issue” in December.
“I recognize that this is a very emotional issue on both sides of the equation in America right now, and I think it calls for real engagement rather than rule enforcement,” Silver said.
However on Wednesday, the NBA reversed altered their stance and reminded teams that the anthem must be played prior to all games in a league-wide memo.
Cuban duly crumbled and after realising cuddling up to cancel culture didn’t win him as many friends as he expected in Texas. Despite championing some players’ protests of kneeling during the national anthem, proudly stating he wants to “be part of the solution” and offering mealy-mouthed empty platitudes that sports teams “just have to let go of old ways” when referring to his country’s national hymn, Cuban now says he didn’t scrap the anthem at the American Airlines Center.
“We didn’t cancel the national anthem,” Cuban said on ESPN. “We still had our flag flying proud up on the wall at the American Airlines Center and everybody had the opportunity to address it and pray to it or salute to it or whatever their feelings are.”
Cuban went on to say: “In listening to the community, there were quite a few people who voiced their concerns, really their fears that the national anthem did not fully represent them, that their voices were not being heard.”
Already 13 games at Mavericks’ home stadium have been played without the customary anthem, but it seems no one had noticed on account of them taking place without courtside spectators.
Cuban likely tried to slyly slip in his run, leap and jump onto the back of the woke bandwagon in a attempt at whipping up good PR while there were no fans in the stadium to notice, but has ended up on his bike attempting a risible back peddle to save face.
It seems Cuban misjudged the reaction to banning a song penned by the son of an immigrant and inspired by the US defence of Fort McHenry from the British during the Battle of Baltimore, and sung by those of all race and gender as a symbol of national pride in The States.
RnB singer Jazmine Sullivan notably stole the show at the recent Super Bowl LV with her particular rendition with Eric Church, just before Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, which was impeccably observed by both sets of players.
Cuban’s crumbling may have been compounded by, well, simple common sense prevailing and law enforcement making sure the pampered super-rich didn’t arbitrarily expel the anthem.
In response to Cuban’s bleating, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced plans for the ‘Star Spangled Banner Protection Act’, which would see all sporting events in Texas which receive public funding obliged to play the anthem.
“It is hard to believe this could happen in Texas, but Mark Cuban’s actions of yesterday made it clear that we must specify that in Texas we play the national anthem before all major events,”Patrick said in a statement in response, the Texas Tribune reported.
MARK CUBAN NATIONAL ANTHEM MOVE: Jen Psaki: “I know [President Biden’s] incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem… Of course, that pride in our country means recognizing moments where we as a country haven’t lived up to our highest ideals.” pic.twitter.com/ZZEpZPJxP2
— Forbes (@Forbes) February 10, 2021
“In this time when so many things divide us, sports are one thing that bring us together — right, left, Black, white and brown. This legislation already enjoys broad support. I am certain it will pass, and the Star Spangled Banner will not be threatened in the Lone Star State again.”
Cuban had, wholly unsurprisingly, won support from the Joe Biden administration; press secretary Jen Psaki informed that while the 46th president of the United States “respected” the anthem, a song that usually unites Americans deserved to be attacked for the country’s failings.
“I know [President Biden’s] incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem… Of course, that pride in our country means recognizing moments where we as a country haven’t lived up to our highest ideals,” Psaki said.