Mavs' Mark Cuban insists 'we didn't cancel the national anthem'

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One day after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reportedly told The Athletic that the team decided not to play the national anthem at home games, the NBA released a statement regarding that the league will keep its “longstanding league policy.”

Cuban made an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump” and he said that the Mavericks have no problem playing the national anthem “at all” and the reason why they decided not to play it so far this season is because they felt like the tradition “did not fully represent them.”

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“We’re always talking to our community. That’s something [Mavericks CEO Cynthia Marshall] stands for and is very insistent upon and has become a core part of who we are at the Dallas Mavericks,” Cuban told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on Wednesday. “In listening to the community, there were quite a few people who voiced their concerns, really their fears that the national anthem did not fully represent them, that their voices were not being heard.

“So we’ve had a lot of conversations about whether or not we should play the anthem. And so during the first preseason game, we decided to not play it and just see what the response was, knowing that we were going to have ongoing conversations about it. We didn’t make any decision to never play the national anthem then — that wasn’t the case at all. We didn’t cancel the national anthem. We still had our flag flying proud up on the wall at the American Airlines Center and everybody had the opportunity to address it and pray to it or salute to it or whatever their feelings are.”

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“There was never any final decision that was made that we would not play the anthem,” Cuban added

After the NBA released its statement regarding the national anthem, Cuban said that the Mavericks would resume playing it prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks.

“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country,” Cuban said in the statement. “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 heard because they have not been.

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“Our hope is that going forward 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. Then we can move forward and have courageous conversations that move this country forward and find what unites us.”

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