Dallas Mavericks Intelwars Mark Cuban National Anthem National anthem debate star spangled banner Star spangled banner act Texas

Mark Cuban stopped playing the national anthem at Mavericks’ games. Texas Republicans hit back by passing new bill.

Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks stopped playing the national anthem before their NBA home games in February, in what is believed to be the first professional sports team to ban “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games. Texas Republicans were dismayed that the Mavericks wouldn’t play the national anthem before their games, so they hit back at Cuban where it hurts: in the purse strings.

“The Mavericks did not publicize the anthem’s removal,” The Athletic writer Tim Cato reported in February of the NBA team’s decision to stop playing the national anthem. “Multiple team employees described only noticing the anthem’s removal on their own, as it was also not announced or explained internally.”

Cuban attempted to justify not playing the national anthem in 11 regular-season games in February.

“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country. I have always stood for the anthem with the hand over my heart — no matter where I hear it played,” Cuban told NPR. “But we also hear the voices of those who do not feel the anthem represents them. We feel they also need to be respected and heard, because they have not been heard. 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.”

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was outraged that the Dallas Mavericks stopped playing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and fired off a rebuttal to Cuban.

“Your decision to cancel our National Anthem at @dallasmavs games is a slap in the face to every American & an embarrassment to Texas,” Patrick tweeted. “Sell the franchise & some Texas Patriots will buy it. We ARE the land of free & the home of the brave.”

With pushback from the NBA, the Mavericks resumed playing the national anthem on Feb. 10.

In March, Republican state Rep. Dustin Burrows reacted by sponsoring Senate Bill 4, also known as the “Star-Spangled Banner Act.” The bill allows sports franchises the option to play or not play the national anthem, but teams who don’t play “The Star-Spangled Banner” will forgo any funding from the state.

“It’s very simple. If they do not want to play the national anthem, they don’t take the tax dollars,” Burrows said, according to the Texas Tribune. “If we’re going to go ahead and subsidize with hard-earned American dollars the sporting facilities and the teams in the different ways that I think is articulated in this bill, then this would apply.”

Texas Republicans passed “The Star Spangled Banner Act” on Tuesday, and the bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law.

However, opponents of Senate Bill 4 question the constitutionality of the legislation, and whether linking funding to the playing of the national anthem is an attack on free speech.

“Once again, we’re carrying legislation that is openly and aggressively unconstitutional,” Democratic state Rep. Gene Wu said.

During the debate over the “The Star-Spangled Banner Act” on Monday, Texas Democrats proposed that teams be required to play both the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is the so-called “black national anthem.”

“I don’t even understand why we would feel the need to force someone into singing any song,” Rep. Jasmine Felicia Crockett said. “But if we are going to force people to sing a song, we should at least be mindful of the people playing on these teams, the people that are actually in the stands supporting these teams.”

Despite the decision by the Mavericks, the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars both pledged to play “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games this season.

Basketball Dallas Mavericks Intelwars Kneeling protests Mark Cuban National Anthem NBA star spangled banner

NBA says national anthem will be played before games — reportedly in response to Mark Cuban saying Mavericks weren’t playing it

That didn’t take long.

On the heels of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban saying the national anthem wasn’t being played before his team’s home games, the National Basketball Association on Wednesday issued a statement saying the anthem indeed will be played.

“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,” NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said in a statement.

According to MarketWatch, the league’s statement was “in response” to Cuban’s anthem revelation.

Which is quite a shift from NBA spokesman Tim Frank’s earlier statement to the Associated Press, according to NBC Sports: “Under the unique circumstances of this season, teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit.”

Did Cuban have anything else to say?

The New York Times reported that Cuban said “we are good with it” in regard to the league’s insistence on the anthem being played:

But as you might expect, the opinionated owner reportedly had other things to say following the NBA’s declaration.

Shams Charania of the Athletic tweeted that “Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks will resume playing the Anthem tonight vs. Atlanta.”

Charania added a partial statement from Cuban: “We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country. I have always stood for the anthem with [my] hand over my heart — not matter where I hear it play. But we also hear the voices of those who do not feel the anthem represents them. We feel they also need to be respected and heard, because they have not been heard.”

Cuban reportedly added in the statement that “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.”

Anything else?

NBC Sports added that the Mavericks didn’t play “The Star-Spangled Banner” through 11 home games this season and were the only NBA team to not play it — and that the decision was a direct order from Cuban. The outlet added that “there was no discussion of this because there were no fans in the building, and since the anthem is rarely shown on broadcasts it was barely noticed.”

The Los Angeles Times said Cuban said last year in the Florida bubble that players and coaches have the right to kneel during the anthem. The paper said Cuban wrote — in a since-deleted tweet from July — that 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.”

Cuban told the New York Times on Tuesday night that he told the Mavericks to stop playing the anthem before its home games — and that “it was my decision, and I made it in November.” He declined to comment further, the paper said.

Dallas Mavericks Intelwars Mark Cuban National Anthem star spangled banner

Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks have stopped playing the national anthem before games

The Mark Cuban-owned Dallas Mavericks will no longer play the national anthem before their NBA games, according to reports.

What are the details?

Sports Illustrated reported Tuesday that Cuban, ahead of the NBA season, decided that “The Star-Spangled Banner” would no longer be played before Mavericks games.

Sports Illustrated noted that the Mavericks did not publicize the decision, and some players said that they weren’t even aware of the move until they discovered it on their own.

The outlet said, “This is believed to be the first instance of a professional team getting rid of the U.S. national anthem from the pre-game, according to the Athletic. Major League Soccer did not play the anthem during a tournament in 2020 in Orlando that did not have fans present, but teams have since started playing it prior to their home games.”

Cuban has not publicly spoken out on the move at the time of this reporting and declined to comment to the Athletic.

According to the Washington Post, however, “The Mavericks have not played the anthem in their first 13 preseason and regular season home games, breaking with a universal practice for professional sports in America — but one that has become fraught in recent years as athletes have seized on the moment to protest racial injustice and other causes. Cuban denied to The Post a report from The Athletic, the first to break the story, that the organization had decided not to play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at the American Airlines Center moving forward.”

“That is incorrect,” Cuban told the Post. “We have given no comment on what our plans are.”

The outlet also reported that Cuban did not respond to questions regarding why he directed the organization not to play the national anthem so far this season.

It also pointed out that the Mavericks have chosen to avoid playing the national anthem in the past.

“As the New York Times pointed out, the team, then owned by Donald Carter, played ‘God Bless America’ before games for the club’s first 16 years,” the outlet reported. “The team switched to ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ in 1996 when Ross Perot Jr. became owner, four years before Cuban took over.”

What else?

A spokesperson for the NBA told the outlet that “under the unique circumstances of this season, teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit.”

In July, Cuban told ESPN that he supported his players’ desire to kneel during the playing of the national anthem.

“If they were taking a knee, and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them,” he reasoned. “Hopefully, I’d join them.”

Sports Illustrated reported that just two days after that remark, Cuban tweeted, “The National Anthem Police in this country are out of control. If you want to complain, complain to your boss and ask why don’t they the National Anthem every day before you start work.”

Black Lives Matter Black lives matter protests Blexit Candace owens Intelwars star spangled banner viral videos

‘This is a beautiful moment that the mainstream media won’t report on’: Blexit demonstration concludes with 2,000+ minority people singing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’

Conservative firebrand Candace Owens shared a moving video on her Twitter page Monday featuring more than 2,000 black and Hispanic demonstrators singing the national anthem during a Saturday Blexit demonstration in Washington, D.C. At the time of this reporting, Owens’ video has been viewed more than 447,000 times.

What are the details?

As highlighted by the Daily Wire, an estimated 2,000-plus Blexit — “black exit,” a movement Owens created in 2018 to encourage black Americans to leave the Democratic Party — demonstrators marched over the weekend.

Owens’ video captures the moment that the demonstration concludes with a singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Owens shared the video on Twitter with a stark comparison between Black Lives Matter protests and the Blexit demonstration.

She captioned the video, “Black Lives Matter protests end with rioting, looting, and the destruction of minority communities. BLEXIT protests end with 2,000+ black and Latino Americans singing the national anthem.”

“This is a beautiful moment that the mainstream media won’t report on,” she concluded. “I’m so proud.”

As seen in the video, following the singing of the national anthem, demonstrators break into chants of “USA! USA!”

Saturday’s demonstration saw the thousands march in support of back police officers and law enforcement officials.

On Saturday, Owens tweeted, “Black and Latino Americans do not support the Marxist, anti-police rhetoric that has become fashionable in the media. Today, thousands of us have descended upon Washington D.C. to #BackTheBlue. Minorities do not belong to the Left.”

That same day, she tweeted, “This is what an *actual* peaceful protest staged by thousands of minorities looks like. Today was incredible.”

Fox News on Sunday reported that Owens told demonstrators that President Donald Trump has supporters all around the country because he clearly supports law and order.

“There are people all around the country that support this president because he supports law and order. It’s that simple,” Owens said during the Saturday march. “Law and order should be what you want no matter what color you are. If you are an American, you should want law and you should want order. That is the way forward.”

Baltimore Ravens Black national anthem Intelwars Lift ev'ry voice and sing National Anthem NFL star spangled banner

Baltimore Ravens players stand for black national anthem — then take a knee when ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is played

Many Baltimore Ravens players stood during the playing of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” known as the black national anthem, before Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns — then took a knee when the U.S. national anthem was played, according to Outkick.

The NFL is playing the black national anthem before all of its opening week games as a part of its anti-racism initiatives, which include social justice messaging in the end zones and around the stadiums, as well as pregame presentations.

Playing “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” has caused some division among players on different teams, however, as they try to decide whether to stand for both anthems, kneel for both, or remain off the field until the anthems are completed.

The Miami Dolphins announced Thursday that they would be staying in the locker room for both anthems, because they didn’t want to participate in the NFL’s “fluff and empty gestures.”

The Houston Texans did the same before their Thursday night game, with Texans safety Michael Thomas saying they made the decision because they didn’t want to be divisive by protesting one anthem and not the other.

“And today, going out for either anthem — to us, it would’ve been a distraction,” Thomas said according to ESPN. “And we just wanted to, again, make a decision as a team, and we decided it would probably be best if we all stayed in. And that’s the decision we made, and we were just going to go out there and play.”

Regardless of what the NFL’s intentions may have been for including “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” in its pregame ceremonies, it has created a dilemma for some players and supporters who have insisted that kneeling during the national anthem is not a specifically anti-American gesture; that stance becomes harder to defend when players stand for a black national anthem and kneel for the U.S. anthem.

The originator of anthem kneeling, former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, doesn’t approve of any of the league’s social justice efforts. The quarterback-turned-activist referred to it as “propaganda.”

The ratings for the NFL’s season opener were significantly lower than the previous year, and anecdotally, many fans have expressed online that they don’t want to watch the games because of the league’s heavy emphasis on social justice demonstrations.

Black national anthem Intelwars Lift ev'ry voice and sing Miami Dolphins National Anthem NFL star spangled banner

Miami Dolphins to stay in locker room during national anthem and black national anthem pregame ceremonies

The Miami Dolphins will stay in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem and the black national anthem before their 2020 season opener Sunday against the New England Patriots, ESPN reported.

The NFL, attempting to participate in the social and racial justice demonstrations that have escalated over the past four months, will play “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which is known as the black national anthem, as well as “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Week 1 games.

The Dolphins are opting to not participate in either ceremony, saying they’re not interested in any more “empty gestures” that don’t contribute toward real and lasting change.

“This attempt to unify only creates more divide,” Dolphins players said in a video released Thursday. “So we’ll skip this song and dance, and as a team we’ll stay inside. We need changed hearts, not just a response to pressure. Enough, no more fluff and empty gestures. We need owners with influence and pockets bigger than ours to call up officials and flex political power.”

In their video, Dolphins players said they want team owners to use their wealth and political influence to push for legislative change, such as prison and police reform.

Much of the conversation surrounding social justice in the NFL has been hung up on the pregame national anthem. Since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem to raise awareness about police brutality against minorities, players on numerous teams have continued that protest — a demonstration that is divisive among fans, and has turned some away from the league completely.

The Dolphins players feel the emphasis on symbolic gestures during the national anthem has become an obstacle to substantive social justice reform, so they are responding by performing a different, perhaps more dramatic symbolic gesture during the national anthem, and producing a video to announce it ahead of time.

The game is scheduled at 1 p.m. ET in Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

During the NFL season opener Thursday night between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans, the Chiefs players stood for the anthem, while the Texans stayed in the locker room. When the two teams locked arms on the field as social justice messages were displayed on the scoreboard before kickoff, some fans booed during a moment of silence.

“I didn’t fully understand that,” Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said of the booing. “There was no flag involved. There was nothing other than two teams coming together to show unity.”

Football Intelwars Mike Ditka National Anthem National anthem protests star spangled banner X league

Mike Ditka shreds anthem protesters: ‘If you can’t respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country’

Famed NFL coach Mike Ditka says if people can’t respect the national anthem, they should leave America.

What are the details?

In a now-viral interview with
TMZ Sports, the beloved former Chicago Bears coach aired his grievances about people who don’t treat the country with utmost respect.

“If you can’t respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country,” he sniped. “That’s the way I feel. Of course, I’m old-fashioned. So, I’m only going to say what I feel. I think there’s a way you protest, and there’s a way you don’t protest.”

Ditka, 80, also hit out at athletes who kneel during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“You don’t protest against the flag, and you don’t protest against this country who’s given you the opportunities to make a living playing a sport that you never thought would happen,” he added. “So I don’t want to hear all the crap.”

This isn’t the first time he’s spoken out against national anthem protests: In 2016, he blasted former NFL player-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick for ushering in the trend.

At the time, Ditka said, “I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick — he probably has no respect for me, that’s his choice. My choice is, I like this country, I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.”

Mike Ditka Against Anthem Kneeling In New Football League, Leave the Country! | TMZ Sports

Ditka, who is set to take over as owner and chairman of the X League — a woman’s tackle football organization — also said that if he has his way, no women will demonstrate during the X League games.

He added, however, that he doesn’t have final say in whether women will be permitted to kneel according to the league’s national anthem policy.

The outlet reports that the new league will feature eight teams in areas such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and is set to kick off in April 2021.

“These women are pretty and good-looking and want to knock the crap out of each other,” he joked. “We’ll see how it works!”

Of the league, Ditka also said, “Now from an ownership and executive perspective, I want to provide women a high-profile platform to compete against the greatest female athletes in the world while creating a destination league for millions of girls to aspire to play in.”

“It’s time to give women, and girls, the same opportunity to play the game that the men play,” he added.


Black national anthem Intelwars Lift ev'ry voice and sing NFL star spangled banner

‘Black national anthem’ to be played at every NFL Week 1 game: reports

“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a song also known as the “black national anthem,” will be played at every Week 1 NFL game and ahead of “The Star-Spangled Banner” when the season begins, according to multiple reports.

What are the details?

ESPN and the Associated Press both cited unnamed sources reporting Thursday that “Lift Every Voice and Sing” would be either played or performed prior to the national anthem during the NFL’s week one games, beginning with the Sept. 10 season opener. Both outlets further reported that the names of victims of police brutality will be displayed on players’ helmets and jerseys.

USA Today also cited an unnamed insider in reporting that the NFL’s “Week 1 broadcasts will feature a number of educational PSAs about victims and their families.”

The NFL has taken major strides to support the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the continuing nationwide protests that followed, with Commissioner Roger Goodell endorsing the movement.

Goodell has also since encouraged franchises to hire former player and professional activist Colin Kaepernick, who sparked controversy for the league in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem at games in protest of police brutality.

Anything else?

For those unfamiliar, here are the lyrics to “Lift Every Voice and Sing”:

Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
let our rejoicing rise,
high as the list’ning skies, let it resound loud as the rolling sea
sing a song full of faith that the dark past has taught us,
sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
let us march on till victory is won.
Stony the road we trod,
bitter the chast’ning rod,
felt in the day that hope unborn had died;
yet with a steady beat,
have not our weary feet,
come to the place on witch our fathers sighed?
we have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
we have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
where the white gleam of our star is cast.
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
thou who has by thy might,
led us into the light,
keep us forever in the path, we pray
lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee,
least our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee,
shadowed beneath the hand,
may we forever stand,
true to our God,
True to our native land.

Lift Every Voice

Francis scott key IMAGiNE Intelwars John Lennon National Anthem Racism SLAVERY star spangled banner watch

If ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is canceled as national anthem, activist suggests singing John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ instead

Amid the astonishing groundswell of cancel culture doing away with statues, movies, TV shows, syrup — and just about anything else that radical leftists can connect to racism or bigotry or general un-woke-ness, past or present — the national anthem of the United States is beginning to feel the heat as well.

What are the details?

The editor-in-chief of Yahoo Music put together an
article asking if it’s time to replace “The Star-Spangled Banner” with a different anthem — due primarily to racism accusations against the man who wrote its words, Francis Scott Key.

Indeed, protesters last weekend
pulled down Key’s statue in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for that reason — along with one of former Union General and U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant:

Francis Scott Key statue toppled in San Francisco

In addition, the Tulsa Athletic — a National Premier Soccer League squad in Oklahoma — on Wednesday said it no longer would play “The Star-Spangled Banner” at home matches and will now play “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie instead, which the team called “a new song of patriotism.”

The Yahoo Music piece cites a
quote attributed to Key — taken from the book “Snow-Storm in August: Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the Forgotten Race Riot of 1835” by Jefferson Morley — calling Africans in America “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.”

Black activist and journalist Kevin Powell was interviewed for the article and spoke at length about Key, saying “he was a very well-to-do lawyer in Washington, D.C., and eventually became very close to President Andrew Jackson, who was the Donald Trump of his time, which means that there was a lot of hate and violence and division. At that time, there were attacks on Native Americans and Black folks — both free Black folks and folks who were slaves — and Francis Scott Key was very much a part of that. He was also the brother-in-law of someone who became a Supreme Court justice, Roger Taney, who also had a very hardcore policy around slavery. And so, all of that is problematic. And the fact that Key, when he was a lawyer, also prosecuted abolitionists, both white and Black folks who wanted slavery to end, says that this is someone who really did not believe in freedom for all people. And yet, we celebrate him with this national anthem, every time we sing it.”

More from Yahoo Music:

In fact “The Star-Spangled Banner,” based on a poem Key wrote about his eyewitness account of the War of 1812, originally featured a little-heard third stanza that was blatantly racist: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave/From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave/And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave/O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” While that version of the song is rarely performed today, Powell has been aware of it for years, and … has therefore refused to sing the anthem since he was in high school in the 1980s, when he first learned of its history.

And what about black artists who’ve performed iconic versions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” over the years?

“The issue is
not Black people’s patriotism. I mean, there’s very few folk that are as patriotic as African Americans,” Powell told Yahoo Music. “The way I look at it is, I think what Jimi Hendrix did with ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at Woodstock, or the way that Marvin Gaye reinterpreted it and made it a soul song, or Whitney Houston singing it at the Super Bowl in 1991, it became something that belonged to all people, not just folks that thought we should just blindly sing this song. And that’s what we do: take these opportunities to perform it because it’s a way to showcase one of the greatest gifts to the world, which is music.”

What song could replace it?

And if “The Star-Spangled Banner” is ever canceled like so many other iconic parts of American history have been in the last few weeks, Powell told the outlet that John Lennon’s “Imagine” would be an ideal national anthem. In fact, Powell noted to Yahoo Music that the tune penned by the famed member of the Beatles is “the most beautiful, unifying, all-people, all-backgrounds-together kind of song you could have.”

Of course, “Imagine” is openly atheist and humanistic, as its opening lines say, “Imagine there’s no heaven / It’s easy if you try / No hell below us / Above us only sky / Imagine all the people living for today” and then later “Imagine … no religion too.”

Imagine – John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band (w the Flux Fiddlers) (official music video HD long v)

Or maybe not?

Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire, put together an entertaining video response to celebrities who took turns singing lines from “Imagine” at the start of widespread coronavirus shutdowns and social distancing back in March. Shapiro referred to “Imagine” as the “worst song ever written” and “evil” with a “horrible, immoral communist message.”

Ben Shapiro Criticizes Celebrities For Singing “Imagine” During Pandemic