The Dallas Mavericks stopped playing the national anthem prior to home games, but it’s not immediately clear why.
The NBA team’s owner, Mark Cuban, confirmed to ESPN that he made the decision after consulting with Commissioner Adam Silver. He has not elaborated.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” has become a flashpoint in recent years, with athletes and other team staff taking a knee or otherwise demonstrating for social justice causes. Critics of the protests, including former President Donald Trump, said kneeling during the anthem was disrespectful.
Cuban expressed support for Black Lives Matter and players kneeling during the national anthem, even sparring with Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, about it last year 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,” Cuban said in a tweet that is no longer visible online.
The Mavericks have not played the anthem this season, including the team’s first home game with a limited number of fans in American Airlines Center on Monday with COVID-19 restrictions in mind, and have no plans to start playing it before games in the future.
The Washington Examiner reached out to the NBA for comment.