White House Comments on NBA Team's National Anthem Controversy


White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended NBA team owner and billionaire Mark Cuban regarding his decision to ban the national anthem from Dallas Mavericks games this season.

Cuban confirmed to The New York Times that he made the decision to cut “The Star-Spangled Banner” from his team’s home games. The anthem had not been played at a single Dallas game this year, including during the preseason.

“It was my decision, and I made it in November,” Cuban said with no additional comment.

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The move, according to The Athletic, made the Mavericks the first American pro sports team to decide against playing the anthem prior to games while fans were in attendance.

The NBA has since announced that all teams must play the national anthem prior to games, which appears to signal that league commissioner Adam Silver is making good on his pledge from last year to end the NBA’s relationship to loud acts of leftist social justice activism.

But the Joe Biden White House saw no problem with Cuban’s unilateral decision to gut what has traditionally been a unifying moment before sporting events.

Psaki, in fact, defended the Mavericks owner’s decision to use his team’s platform to “peacefully protest” a country that she said “hasn’t lived up” to its values.

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“What does President Biden think about the Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, deciding to indefinitely stop playing the national anthem before his National Basketball Association games?” Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Psaki during a news conference Wednesday.

The Biden press secretary didn’t need to circle back for an answer to that question.

Psaki responded that she hadn’t spoken with Biden about the issue but “I know he’s incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem and all that it represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform around the world.”

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“He’d also say that, of course, that part of pride in our country means recognizing moments where we as a country haven’t lived up to our highest ideals,” she added. “Which is often and at times what people are speaking to when they take action at sporting events. And it means respecting the right people granted to them in the Constitution to peacefully protest. That’s why he ran for president in the first place.”

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The NBA made it clear Wednesday that Cuban has no choice in the matter.

“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’s chief communications officer, Mike Bass, said in a statement.

Cuban indicated he had no issue with resuming the national anthem before his team’s games. He did, however, issue a statement on the Mavericks’ website in which he said he feels the anthem “does not represent” many Americans.

“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country. But we also loudly hear the voices of those who feel that the anthem does not represent them,” he said. “We feel that their voices need to be respected and heard, because they have not been.

“Going forward, our hope is that people will take the same passion they have for this issue and apply the same amount of energy to listen to those who feel differently from them. Only then we can move forward and have courageous conversations that move this country forward and find what unites us.”

But Psaki’s shameful comments essentially indicated that the White House endorses all those who use the country’s national anthem as a platform for their grievances.

Somehow, the NBA, which is seen by many as a leftist political organization, is more patriotic than the White House and Mark Cuban, who apparently didn’t want to be bothered by having to honor the country that has made him so incredibly wealthy.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.