NBA

NBA confirm teams must play national anthem before home games

By Sports Desk February 10, 2021

The NBA has said all teams will keep up the tradition of playing the United States national anthem before games, despite the Dallas Mavericks' decision not to.

ESPN reported on Tuesday that Mark Cuban, director and owner of the Mavs, had confirmed the team – who had not played the national anthem prior to any of their 13 pre-season or regular-season home games so far – would not resume the tradition.

Cuban declined to comment further but made the decision after consulting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

However, on Wednesday, the NBA issued a statement insisting teams will play the anthem before each home game.

"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," a statement from NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass read.

The NBA's rulebook requires players to stand during the national anthem though it is not a policy which has been enforced by Silver, with players often choosing to take a knee during the anthem to protest social and racial injustice – something which Cuban has previously backed.

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