Performing the U.S. national anthem is a tradition every American sports team has held since the beginning. No matter the sport, or the league, or the stage, the anthem has always been a part of pro-sports in the U.S.
So when it was confirmed on Tuesday that the Dallas Mavericks have cut the decades-long tradition from their schedule, it turned a lot of heads.
In a story by The Athletic's Tim Cato, he reveals the shocking news, which has sparked both applause and outrage.
The Dallas Mavericks have ceased playing the national anthem before home games this season and do not plan to play it moving forward, a decision made by owner Mark Cuban that he confirmed to The Athletic on Monday evening.
None of 13 preseason and regular-season games played at the American Airlines Center this season have featured the anthem before the game, including Monday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the first played this season with a limited amount of fans in attendance.
The Mavericks did not publicize the anthem’s removal, and The Athletic was the first media organization to reach out about the change after noticing its absence on Monday. Multiple team employees described only noticing the anthem’s removal on their own, as it was also not announced or explained internally.
Considering all the racial and social tensions happening in the country, it's no surprise to see some folk happy that the Mavs are divorcing from the national anthem. Still, to many, it's a sign of disrespect and treachery.
It's pretty clear from the reactions that this move is extremely controversial, and it doesn't help that they're the only big-time American sports team to have taken this action.
Now that the news is out there, it will be interesting to see what kind of fallback they receive and if other teams will follow suit.