'Get woke, go broke!': Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is met with fierce backlash and threat of boycott for canceling national anthem before games

 Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is facing fierce criticism from fans and local Republicans after deciding to discontinue the playing of the national anthem before games. 

'Get woke, go broke!' tweeted Forth Worth (Texas) Police Officers' Association vice president Anthony White. '⁦I won't spend another cent on ⁦@dallasmavs.'⁩  

'I'd certainly encourage Republicans that attend [Mavericks games] to really consider what they're spending money on,' Dallas County Republican Party communications director William Busby told DailyMail.com. 'I'm not a fan of official boycotts myself, nor would the party support an official boycott. However, the party does support free-market solutions and people speak with their pocketbooks.' 

Cuban told The Athletic that he made the decision back in November, but did not elaborate on why he did so. A spokesman for the team confirmed the decision to DailyMail.com, but declined further comment and Cuban has not responded to a request for comment. 

The decision went unnoticed for 13 games, according to the The Athletic, as it was not publicized or explained internally and fans had not been allowed to attend games due to coronavirus restrictions.  Monday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves was the first time a limited number of fans had been allowed into the American Airlines Center. 

This is believed to be the first time that that any team from the four major American professional sports leagues has refused to play the national anthem before games. 

'What's the reason for it?' Busby asked. 'Is it political correctness? Is it to keep players from kneeling. What is the reason for it? There seems to be no answer for it. I think if Mark Cuban would give some answers, that would probably make people feel a lot better because then at least they would know.' 

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (pictured) says he told the team to stop playing the national anthem before their home games this season. 'It was my decision, and I made it in November,' Cuban told The Athletic on Tuesday without elaborating [File photo]

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (pictured) says he told the team to stop playing the national anthem before their home games this season. 'It was my decision, and I made it in November,' Cuban told The Athletic on Tuesday without elaborating [File photo]

Monday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves was the first time a limited number of fans had been allowed into the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks won 127-122. Pictured: Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (center, in green) handles the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first have of Monday's NBA game

Monday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves was the first time a limited number of fans had been allowed into the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks won 127-122. Pictured: Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (center, in green) handles the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first have of Monday's NBA game

Many critics responded on Twitter, Wednesday, threatening to boycott the team and the NBA for Cuban's decision. 'Get woke, go broke!' tweeted Forth Worth (Texas) Police Officers' Association vice president Anthony White. '⁦I won’t spend another cent on ⁦@dallasmavs'

Many critics responded on Twitter, Wednesday, threatening to boycott the team and the NBA for Cuban's decision. 'Get woke, go broke!' tweeted Forth Worth (Texas) Police Officers' Association vice president Anthony White. '⁦I won't spend another cent on ⁦@dallasmavs'

In an email to the Washington Post, Cuban denied a report by The Athletic that the team plans to stop playing the anthem going forward: 'That is incorrect. We have given no comment on what our plans are.' 

The controversy spilled over into the White House on Wednesday as White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked to give President Joe Biden's response, but ultimately sidestepped the question. 

'[Biden] is incredibly proud to be an American and of the anthem and all it represents, particularly to our servicemen and women,' Psaki said. 'That pride in our country means recognizing the times when we have not lived up to our highest ideals, which is often what is the conversation around sporting events.' 


Although Cuban has continuously supported athletes exercising free speech, in a 2017 interview with ESPN, he said he planned on standing for the anthem with his 'hand over [his] heart,' adding that he expected his players to join him.   

Cuban has become more vocal in defending protesting athletes since the Minneapolis police killing of African-American man George Floyd on May 25, saying he would support his players who decide to protest.  

'Because I think we've learned a lot since 2017,' Cuban told ESPN's Outside the Lines in June. 'I think we've evolved as a country. And this is really a unique point in time where we can grow as a society, we can grow as a country and become far more inclusive and become far more aware of the challenges that minority communities go through.

'So I'll stand in unison with our players, whatever they choose to do. But again, when our players in the NBA do what's in their heart, when they do what they feel represents who they are and look to move this country forward when it comes to race relationships, I think that's a beautiful thing and I'll be proud of them.' 

Fans appear split on Cuban's decision, with some supporting the move and others claiming it is disrespectful to veterans

Fans appear split on Cuban's decision, with some supporting the move and others claiming it is disrespectful to veterans

Stan Van Gundy, Head Coach of the New Orleans Pelicans wrote in a Tweet: 'This should happen everywhere.'

Stan Van Gundy, Head Coach of the New Orleans Pelicans wrote in a Tweet: 'This should happen everywhere.'

Previously, the NBA required teams to play the Star-Spangled Banner ahead of games but the league gave teams the permission to drop the ritual this season. The league said it had instructed teams 'to run their pregame operations as they see fit' due to 'the unique circumstances this season.'

The NBA is attempting to run a 72-game season amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the majority of teams not allowing fans to attend home games. 

Traditionally the league has required players to stand for the anthem, but commissioner Adam Silver has relaxed that rule following the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests which erupted after Floyd's killing. 

'I recognize that this is a very emotional issue on both sides of the equation in America right now,' Silver said during a press conference in December, 'and I think it calls for real engagement rather than rule enforcement.' 

One Twitter user accused the Mavericks owner of being an 'un-American Cuban'

One Twitter user accused the Mavericks owner of being an 'un-American Cuban'

Fans appear split on Cuban's decision, with some supporting the move and others claiming it is disrespectful to veterans. 

'Thank you Mark Cuban, best owner in the NBA by far,' one Twitter user wrote.


Stan Van Gundy, Head Coach of the New Orleans Pelicans wrote in a Tweet: 'This should happen everywhere.' 

'If you think the anthem needs to be played before sporting events, then play it before every movie, concert, church service and the start of every work day at every business. What good reason is there to play the anthem before a game?'

Others were torn over the decision, with an account called Mavs Fans For Life claiming that '50% love the move, 50% hate the decision'.

In the comments underneath the post, one user said: 'I'm split on this. Even though I understand why as the NBA is about getting and standing for Equality, this is also disrespectful to the soldiers who are serving the country or vets. Very split for sure'

Another warned: 'If this is true May have lost a lifelong fan!'

'National Basketball team won't play National Anthem. Pretty disgraceful...' a third commented.

Tim Cato, who writes about the Mavericks and basketball for The Athletic, pointed out that impassioned fans did not appear to notice the absence of the national anthem until it was reported by the publication.

'It's sure interesting to me that any mavericks fan who cares enough to be mad about this sure didn't care enough to notice it wasn't there for 13 games,' he tweeted.

It is thought that the Mavericks are the only team to have scrapped the national anthem entirely. 

At the NBA's 2020 season restart, virtually all players knelt during the anthem in a gesture that has come to symbolize solidarity with the movement. 

Cuban, who has owned the Mavericks since 2000, has in the past spoken out in support of kneeling during the anthem, and in comments last year took aim at what he called the 'National Anthem Police.'

Speaking about the prospects of Mavericks players kneeling during the NBA restart in Orlando, Cuban said in July: 'If they were taking a knee, and they were being respectful, I'd be proud of them. Hopefully, I'd join them.'

Later Cuban commented on Twitter: 'The National Anthem Police in this country are out of control. If you want to complain, complain to your boss and ask why they don't play the National Anthem every day before you start work.'

In June, Cuban tweeted in response to Floyd's death, imploring white people to realize that 'we are the ones that need to change' in order to improve racial equality in the United States.

'Dear White People,' Cuban's tweet began. 'We are the ones that need to change. This is not one man's story. This is almost every black man's story. Which is why the problem is ours. We need to find OUR way to change what we do. There is no quick fix. It's a moral imperative.'

Cuban included a link to an open letter from Emerson College president M. Lee Pelton, an African-American man who was arguing that structural racism is 'not a black problem.'  

Tim Cato, who writes about the Mavericks and basketball for The Athletic, pointed out that impassioned fans did not appear to notice the absence of the national anthem until it was reported by the publication

Tim Cato, who writes about the Mavericks and basketball for The Athletic, pointed out that impassioned fans did not appear to notice the absence of the national anthem until it was reported by the publication

An account called Mavs Fans For Life claimed that among fans '50% love the move, 50% hate the decision'

An account called Mavs Fans For Life claimed that among fans '50% love the move, 50% hate the decision'

Playing 'The Star Spangled Banner' before games has become part of the fabric of professional sports leagues in the United States.

However, how individual athletes chose to react during playing of the anthem became a deeply divisive issue during the administration of former US President Donald Trump.

Trump attacked National Football League players who took a knee during the anthem to draw attention to racial injustice as unpatriotic. 

The New York Times reported that the Mavericks declined to play the national anthem during its first 16 years, while under the ownership of Donald Carter. God Bless America was sung instead before home games.

The Mavericks began playing the national anthem in 1996 after it was purchased by Ross Perot Jr. 

'National Basketball team won't play National Anthem. Pretty disgraceful...' one Twitter user commented

'National Basketball team won't play National Anthem. Pretty disgraceful...' one Twitter user commented


'Get woke, go broke!': Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is met with fierce backlash and threat of boycott for canceling national anthem before games 'Get woke, go broke!': Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is met with fierce backlash and threat of boycott for canceling national anthem before games Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:49 Rating: 5

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