Texas New National Anthem Law Will Test Mav Owner Mark Cuban's Compliance Cleveland Cavaliers' Jarrett Allen (31) tries to pass the ball against Dallas Mavericks' Nicolo Melli (44) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Cleveland. (Tony Dejak/Ap)
By Fran Beyer | Friday, 03 September 2021 02:58 PM
An abortion ban isn’t the only controversial new Texas law that went into effect this month.
As of Wednesday, the “Star Spangled Protection Action” was also enacted, requiring pro sports teams that get public funds to play the national anthem before each game, the Texas Tribune reported.
The bill is a direct response to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s decision to yank the national anthem from pregame ceremonies in the beginning of the 2020-21 season, the Independent Journalism Review noted.
On Feb. 9, Cuban declared the Mavericks would no longer play the anthem before their home games. They hadn’t played it throughout their preseason and regular-season games up until that point.
A day later, the NBA issued a statement saying “all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy.”
Now under the "Star Spangled Protection Act," Cuban and the Mavericks could face paying back millions of dollars in government funds from the state of Texas if they don't comply.
Cuban has said he would follow the NBA rules even as he staunchly defended his original decision.
“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country,” he said. “But we also loudly hear the voices of those who feel that the anthem does not represent them. We feel that their voices need to be respected and head, because they have not been.”
“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,” Cuban added.