Some Thoughts on the Mavs Not Playing the National Anthem

In a move that appears to be unprecedented in modern North American sports, the Dallas Mavericks have stopped playing the national anthem prior to home games.

The move was first reported last night by The Athletic, whose Mavs beat reporter, Tim Cato, said team owner Mark Cuban had confirmed the move to him. Here’s the most pertinent passage from Cato’s paywalled story:

None of the 13 preseason and regular-season games played at the [Mavs’ arena] this season have featured the anthem before the game, including Monday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the first played with a limited amount of fans in attendance.

The Mavericks did not publicize the anthem’s removal, and The Athletic was the first media organization to reach out about the change after noticing its absence on Monday. Multiple team employees described only noticing the anthem’s removal on their own, as it was also not announced or explained internally.

If you don’t have access to The Athletic, you can learn more in these stories from Yahoo Sports, ESPN, and The Dallas Morning News.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time the Mavericks have eschewed the anthem. According to the DMN report, the Mavs played “God Bless America” prior to games, rather than “The Star Spangled Banner,” for the team’s first 16 seasons (1980-1996), although that was prior to Cuban’s ownership.

Other sports team owners have occasionally tried to scale back the anthem’s prominence. According to James Charlton’s book The Baseball Chronology, Chicago Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley ordered that the anthem be played only on holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July because he felt that playing the song for every game effectively trivialized it. Kansas City Royals owner Ewing Kauffman cited a similar rationale in 1972, when he ordered that the anthem be played only “on Sundays and special occasions,” because it “was not receiving the respect it deserved.” Public reaction, however, was highly negative, and Kauffman quickly relented.

Will there be a flood of negative reaction this time too? As news of the Mavs’ move unfolded on social media last night, I was surprised by how much of the reaction I saw was positive. Obviously, insert all the usual caveats here about social media being a highly imperfect barometer, blah-blah-blah, but there are clearly a lot of people out there — more than I would have guessed — who are ready for this move.

As for me, I’ve long favored removing the anthem from pregame activities — not because I dislike the song, but because (a) I see no reason to entangle sporting events with politics, and (b) the anthem isn’t played before movies, plays, concerts, or other entertainment events, so why do it for sports? Similarly, (c) other workers don’t have to stand for the anthem at the start of their workday, so why should athletes? Toss in (d) the way the song has become a culture-wars flashpoint in the post-Kaepernick era and the choice seems obvious: Save it for the Olympics and other international competitions, but stop using it as a routine thing. Here’s hoping other teams and leagues follow Cuban’s lead.

(I can already hear a few people saying, “The anthem isn’t about politics — it’s about patriotism.” But whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, patriotism is an intensely political subject. In fact, as should be fairly apparent at this juncture in American history, the question of what does or doesn’t qualify as patriotic, and which stories get told to answer that question, and who gets to write and tell those stories, are arguably the most purely political issues faced by any society.)

The most interesting thing about all this, at least to me, is that Cuban and the Mavs didn’t tell anyone, didn’t make any announcement, didn’t issue a press release or even a tweet. They just made a simple change to their pregame program and carried on with the business of playing basketball. And it took nearly two months before anyone even noticed.

Update, 2:15pm Eastern: The NBA has now issued a statement saying that all teams, including the Mavs, will play the anthem.

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Great ’plate: Marty Schottenheimer died yesterday. Although best known as an NFL coach, he also played for the Bills and Patriots in the 1960s, and was uni-notable for his prodigious shoulder-to-shoulder nameplate. R.I.P.

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UNI watch: It is surely one of life’s rich ironies — or at least one of my life’s rich ironies — that the school whose name reduces to my favorite acronym is also a school that wears purple, creating a textbook case of cognitive dissonance in my cranium. In this case, the acronym wins out — it’s too good to deny, in any color.

Anyway: UNI has unveiled a new brand identity. Additional info here. Go UNI!

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Podcast update: Chris Creamer and I recorded the second episode of Unified yesterday. The audio and video are now being edited by our new producer, Chris Fraterrigo, and we hope to have the episode available for you tomorrow.

Also, Unified got a nice shout-out in The New York Post from baseball columnist (and former Uni Watch interview subject) Ken Davidoff. It’s down toward the end of this column.

If you haven’t already checked out our first episode, you can listen to it, and subscribe to future installments, on Apple, Google, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify, or just use the player below:

You can also check out the video version of the episode, which is on Chris’s YouTube channel:

You can also check out the show notes on the podcast’s new website, plus you can follow us on Twitter.

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: Remember that great vintage St. Louis Browns letterhead that Paul recently featured on the site? Reader Jimmy Lonetti liked it so much that he used it as the basis for a new logo for his glove repair business. … The pandemic has left tons of unused giveaway merch, like bobbleheads and puzzles, sitting in boxes (from Mike Chamernik). … The Purdue and Northwestern football teams will play at Wrigley Field in November (from Kurt Esposito). … Valhalla High School in suburban San Diego has a cool periodic table of elements-themed Padres graphic — a fun idea, although they cheated a bit, because there’s no “D” in the real periodic table (from @greeneyes_scott).

Football News: Here’s next year’s Super Bowl logo, and here’s what it looks like on an NFL football (from multiple readers). …  A news chopper flew over a Super Bowl-themed backyard (from Steve Sher). … Former Giants QB Eli Manning received hockey sweaters from the New York metro area’s three NHL teams: the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, and New Jersey Devils (from Brandon Wheatkings). … Cross-listed from the baseball section: Purdue and Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field, home of MLB’s Chicago Cubs, in November (from multiple readers). … Here’s a rare-for-its-era cross-sport gesture: When Ohio State coach Woody Hayes died on March, 12, 1987, the OSU basketball team wore a memorial shoulder band for him the following day (from Mike Knapp). … Mike Greenaway was watching an old episode of The A-Team that featured Mr T, Joe Namath, and Jim Brown in L.A. Express uniforms.

Hockey News: The Canucks officially unveiled their Lunar New Year warm-up jerseys (from multiple readers). … The Kings wore Black History Month warm-up jerseys last night (from Jakob Fox). … ЯR unis last night for the Golden Knights (from Brian Catlett). … Cross-listed from the football section: Former New York Giants QB Eli Manning received hockey sweaters from the New York metro area’s three NHL teams: the Rangers, Islanders, and Devils (from Brandon Wheatkings).

Basketball News: Here are the latest uni number updates from Etienne Catalan. … Check out the “B” logo in this old photo of Bullets G Gene Shue. It looks a lot like the Nets’ current logo (from Dave Holland). … Cross-listed from the football section: In a rare-for-its-era cross-sport gesture, after Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes died on March 12, 1987, the OSU hoops team wore a memorial shoulder band for him the following day (from Mike Knapp). … Wisconsin women’s is going mono-pink against Ohio State tonight (from John, who didn’t give his last name). … Pink accents last night for UConn women’s (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Anyone know what these big black squares are on Duke’s jerseys?  Maybe bio-trackers? (From John Choe.)

Soccer News: Sixteen years ago yesterday, three Nike-outfitted men’s national teams — the Netherlands, Portugal, and Russia — wore black-and-white halved shirts, black shorts, and white socks as part of an anti-racism campaign (from our own Jamie Rathjen).

Grab Bag: Tennis player Serena Williams wore a one-legged catsuit in honor of her idol, Olympic sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner, at her first match at the Australian Open on Monday (form our own Brinke Guthrie). … Leeds Rhinos’ rugby league team has a third shirt this season in honor of former player Rob Burrow, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Also from Jamie: Leeds Rhinos now has an expansion team, Leeds Rhinos Netball, in the U.K.’s Netball Superleague, which starts play this year. Here are their first kits. … Rugby players regularly tape their ears to protect them. But taped-up ears are a problem if you want to wear a Covid mask on the bench. Prop Wyn Jones wore a modified mask for Wales to solve this problem (from Greg Schwanbeck). … Fox has updated its NASCAR score bug (from Jackson Kinney). … The Aunt Jemima brand will now be known as the Pearl Milling Company (from Timmy Donahue). … Also from Timmy: The U.S. Army Special Operations School has dropped its “III” logo due to its similarities to the logo of the Three Percenters, a right-wing extremist group. Since the 1990s, the symbol has been part of the unofficial logo of Trauma 3, an 18-month SpecOps medical course focused on tactical combat casualty care.

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What Paul did last night: Usually we have Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ before dinner. But yesterday was the Tugboat Captain’s birthday, so we had a big Chinese feast and then went outside for some bubbly and birthday cheesecake topped with a sparkler — nice.

As always, you can see the full set of PPC™ photos — now 330 of them — here.

81 comments to Some Thoughts on the Mavs Not Playing the National Anthem

  • Dumb Guy | February 10, 2021 at 8:43 am |

    Not a fan of Jimmy Lonetti’s logo steal. C’mon Jimmy, do better.

    JMO.

    • RS Rogers | February 10, 2021 at 8:59 am |

      For anything to be “stolen,” the thing must by definition be owned. But I can find no currently active trademark registration for the old Browns letterhead. Unless such a currently active trademark registration exists, then the mark cannot be stolen. Might as well accuse anyone who sings the Star Spangled Banner of “stealing” from Francis Scott Key. Hey, sports fans, do better! Make up your own darn patriotic song!

      • Dumb Guy | February 10, 2021 at 9:08 am |

        I just always hope people don’t simply copy something (exactly) that already exits, and use a modicum of original thought when coming up with a logo, etc. That’s all I’m saying.

        • Jimmy Lonetti | February 10, 2021 at 9:18 am |

          As I explained in a twitter thread regarding the Browns logo I was more than happy to credit and compensate the artist if known for the letterhead artwork. I have several other original logos I use that I have paid design fees for. I just think it’s interesting to have some fun designs in my Teespring store.
          Kind of like Paul borrowing from sports logos for his food based designs.

    • Mike Bisch | February 10, 2021 at 9:59 am |

      I think it looks great. A well-executed retro logo is super rare these days. However, the most interesting thing about it is – for a company that makes gloves, the logo does not include a glove – rather, a batter. I would expect something like a Mr. Met running for a fly ball, wearing a glove. Again, not complaining, just an interesting choice.

      • Mike Bisch | February 10, 2021 at 10:03 am |

        *Does glove repair, not makes gloves. Unless you actually do make gloves. Sorry!

        • Jimmy Lonetti | February 10, 2021 at 10:08 am |

          Checkout my website and Teespring store. Our primary logo predominantly features a glove.

    • MotorCityJeff | February 10, 2021 at 10:45 am |

      I agree. It looks forced and out of place. The logo has a bat and ball but not glove for a glove repair business.

  • Jason Von Stein | February 10, 2021 at 8:44 am |

    Happy Birthday Cap. I hope it was full of love and music.

  • Dumb Guy | February 10, 2021 at 8:49 am |

    “Aunt Jemima brand will now be known as the Pearl Milling Company”

    Looks like some off/store-brand product now.

    • Graf Zeppelin | February 10, 2021 at 10:18 am |

      It kind of does, but only because we’re used to the old branding, and the new branding is similar enough to look like a knockoff.

      • Not Just Syrup | February 10, 2021 at 1:48 pm |

        I am all for it. Now, the Pearl Milling Company can attach its names onto a bunch of other products.

  • Memal | February 10, 2021 at 8:50 am |

    Those new Super Bowl logos are the closest to a custom event logo the Super Bowl has come since they switched to their current logo format. I wonder if it’s slowly going to go back to the way it was…

    • Frank from More | February 10, 2021 at 9:08 am |

      Exactly what I came here to ask. Phoenix=Cactus, New Orleans=iron railings from balconies, Miami=more palm trees. It would be nice to add some flair to a pretty utilitarian logo.

  • Tom J | February 10, 2021 at 8:54 am |

    I always found it interesting that the playing of the anthem before games started fairly organically:

    The band just started playing it during the 1918 World Series because the U.S. was waging The First World War.

    • Graf Zeppelin | February 10, 2021 at 10:19 am |

      …and it wasn’t even the ‘official’ National Anthem at that time.

  • Clint Richardson | February 10, 2021 at 8:54 am |

    Yesterday I saw a story that stated an Alabama lawmaker was filing a bill that would *require* schools to play the national anthem at the start of the day at least once per week.

    “Senator Gerald Allen said requiring schools in the state to play the national anthem is about American history and patriotism. He added that so many students who aren’t involved in sports or after school activities don’t get a chance to hear the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

    Link: https://www.waff.com/2021/02/09/alabama-lawmaker-files-bill-requiring-national-anthem-be-played-schools/

  • sandy | February 10, 2021 at 8:59 am |

    Kinda agree with Paul on the anthem thing. Perhaps save them for major events like Superbowls, World Series, etc.

    At F1 races they play the anthem of the host country before the race (usually a live performance), and the anthems of the winning driver’s home country and the anthem of the winning car constructors home country after the race.

    Anthem have seemed a bit redundant to me, without fans in the stands throughout the pandemic anyways.

    That said, when I attend NHL games there is a certain feeling of pride and community when we all stand to sing the national anthem of Canada. I’m also happy & proud to sing along to the American national anthem as well, because here we play both. And it’s a great anthem! :)

  • Nestor Chylak | February 10, 2021 at 9:14 am |

    I’ll be very interested to see the ultimate reaction to nixing the Anthem. That will determine a lot. Some opportunistic politician will feign outrage, if they haven’t already. Can’t wait to see if this issue has legs.

  • Greg | February 10, 2021 at 9:23 am |

    There are some great NHL anthem videos of Canadians all singing their anthem together, that are beyond beautiful, a wonderful display of unity (and also the Canadian anthem is amazing). It is a shame, to point D of Paul’s, that is has become political amid culture wars and that we have lost that.
    As they say; this is why we can’t have nice things.

    • Graham | February 10, 2021 at 1:57 pm |

      And there are many, many Canadians who find O Canada to be exclusionary and divisive. Until a couple of years ago the English lyrics were gendered and it still promotes a Christian supremacy over the country (especially the French lyrics).

      How many people have to endure something they dislike when forced to stand for an anthem that excludes them? I for one can’t wait until it’s shelved for mundane events (sporting and the start of a school day in particular). Long overdue.

  • Jason | February 10, 2021 at 9:33 am |

    Go UNI! Class of 2000
    I like the new logo/branding, although it’s past time for the athletic logo to be re-done with out the panther head on it.

    As a veteran I am all for not playing the anthem before sporting events, just doesn’t belong.

  • Jim Howicz | February 10, 2021 at 9:47 am |

    Kurt Warner played for UNI. Go Panthers!!!

  • J | February 10, 2021 at 9:55 am |

    I agree with Ricketts and Kaufmann. Playing it every game just trivializes it. Especially for baseball where they play every single day.

  • Skott Schoonover | February 10, 2021 at 9:57 am |

    Is Eli Manning a big hockey fan? Last week Ole’ Miss sent him their new hockey jersey too. Kind of a strange thing to be become A Thing. Right?

    Also, Mr. T was decades ahead of his time with that jersey tailoring.

    • François | February 10, 2021 at 10:12 am |

      His kids play hockey, that’s why.

    • salty | February 10, 2021 at 11:24 am |

      anyone else starting to feel indifferent seeing all the freebees that athletes and actors etc. receive from sports teams while the fans are stuck with paying upwards of $200 for sweaters and insane prices for tickets?

  • Tom | February 10, 2021 at 10:11 am |

    I also agree with the Mavericks move on the National Anthem and hope other teams will follow as they see fit. It’s also worth noting that the Mavs’ Seats For Soldiers event is one of the best things they do all season: https://www.mavs.com/community/events/seatsforsoldiers/

  • Hank_SJ | February 10, 2021 at 10:14 am |

    The Anthem being played at every sporting event isn’t the only unnecessary use of it. Mission BBQ plays it at Noon every day and the entire establishment stops: no sandwiches being made, orders not taken. In Wildwood, NJ, it’s played along parts of the boardwalk every day during the summer at Noon.

  • Ron Ruelle | February 10, 2021 at 10:15 am |

    O say, have you ever noticed our national anthem is a series of questions? Is it a rhetorical anthem? Does anyone know the answers?

  • Graf Zeppelin | February 10, 2021 at 10:17 am |

    I remember that A-Team episode. IIRC, the other QB (not Joe Namath) wore two different numbers on his jersey; I think he wore 12 on the front/back and 14 on the shoulders, or maybe it was the other way around.

  • Stan Bunting | February 10, 2021 at 10:30 am |

    I can not wait for the day we no longer play the National Anthem before sporting events.

    Particularly so we can stop the disgusting and idiotic fan participation things like screaming “red” or “oh” – and most importantly the desecration of the Anthem that occurs before Blackhawks games when the crowd screams and claps and doesn’t even pay attention to the song!

    • Block "O Canada" | February 10, 2021 at 11:32 am |

      While I would not object to discontinuing the national anthem at sporting events, I do not find it “disgusting” or “idiotic” when fans yell “Oh”. In fact, it is a point of pride for some of us here in Ohio (especially at Ohio State games) to not only yell “Oh” at that point of the song, but to do it with arms raised over our heads to form the letter “O.”

      • Matty J | February 10, 2021 at 4:56 pm |

        I’m an OSU guy & find it annoying when Buckeye fans do this. Its silly, but not a big deal to me. Some do get angry when it happens however.
        Out here in LV they scream, “gave proof through the KNIGHTS! that our flag was still there” at VGK’s games. Silliness.

    • Graf Zeppelin | February 10, 2021 at 11:48 am |

      Four things that have always bothered me about the Anthem ritual:

      1. Singers who get the words wrong.

      2. Singers who pronounce “perilous” as “peh-ruh-liss” instead of “peh-ril-luss”.

      3. Singers who attempt to mimic Whitney Houston’s Super Bowl XXV rendition note-for-note, intonation-for-intonation, modulation-for-modulation.

      4. The age of the singer being inversely proportional to the length of the rendition, especially as to #3, supra.

      • Nestor Chylak | February 10, 2021 at 1:11 pm |

        The ritual singing of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” at Wrigley has a similar irritation point for me: folks singing “I don’t care if I EVER get back”, rather than the correct “NEVER get back”.

    • Daniel E | February 10, 2021 at 3:33 pm |

      The point of the screaming and clapping in Chicago is to honor the anthem. It may seem weird to you, and if that’s not your preferred approach, don’t do it. But it’s not your place to judge how someone else shows appreciation. Your way is not the only valid way.

  • TIm | February 10, 2021 at 10:44 am |

    Great photo re the Woody Hayes memorial band on the BBall unis. Rex Chapman vs Jay Burson in the photo no less!

  • Tim | February 10, 2021 at 11:00 am |

    WTH? Namath wearing #15?

    • Graf Zeppelin | February 10, 2021 at 11:42 am |

      My guess is the producers didn’t want the viewers thinking or being confused that Namath was playing himself, which he wasn’t.

  • DL | February 10, 2021 at 11:13 am |

    Similarly, I wonder if this issue will continue to spread past sports and into the education system. Why do students have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of every school day? It seems unnecessary at best and jingoistic at worst. Having students recite the pledge seems as antiquated as changing the name of sauerkraut to liberty cabbage.

  • RICKAZ | February 10, 2021 at 11:25 am |

    Unfortunately I’m sure not playing the National Anthem will be politicized big time. I like the example that other entertainment events don’t have this.

  • Rich P | February 10, 2021 at 11:29 am |

    I really hope that sports leagues move towards using the anthem only on “special occasions”. It’s not like I dislike the song, or dislike professing love for our country, I just find it as something done so often it’s rendered basically meaningless – like by the time I got to 3rd grade and was tired of doing the Pledge each morning.

  • Tim | February 10, 2021 at 11:34 am |

    Looks like I might be one of the few who actually like the anthem and the pledge, stop when I hear it, look for the closest flag and show respect. Like I was taught by both my parents when I was young, and by my drill sergeants and TAC officers when I was in the Army.

    #OldSchool

    • Scott | February 10, 2021 at 1:07 pm |

      Whether or not someone respects the anthem when it’s played has nothing to do with whether it *should* be played. I believe it’s somewhat disingenuous to position those as opposite viewpoints.

      • spinetingler | February 11, 2021 at 10:44 am |

        It’s not disingenuous, it’s intentional.

  • Graf Zeppelin | February 10, 2021 at 11:40 am |

    Whatever you think of the Anthem and/or the playing of it before a game, it’s a ritual. Rituals, by definition, have only the meaning that we, each of us individually, who participate therein, assign to them. The same applies to the choice to not participate in, or to not perform, a ritual.

  • dave robb | February 10, 2021 at 11:40 am |

    Curious. Do other countries play their national anthem before every sporting event?

    • Lee | February 10, 2021 at 3:42 pm |

      The only non-American sporting events I have ever attended were English soccer matches (and in the ’90s), and they did not play an anthem.

      Lee

    • Will S | February 10, 2021 at 11:05 pm |

      Unfortunately it is an all too common occurrence in Canada. If a Canadian team in a mostly American league you usually get hit with both anthems.

  • d. | February 10, 2021 at 11:50 am |

    must see/listen

    canadian anthem butchered ….comical performance

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KpXzASiXX8U

  • Julie | February 10, 2021 at 11:58 am |

    It’s interesting that nobody on the Mav’s local beat even mentioned this yet, it took a national outlet 13 games later to bring notice to the fact that the anthem isn’t being played.

    Not only is it time to stop playing the anthem during most/all sporting events, but it is beyond time to stop playing ‘god bless America’ at baseball games.

    • Paul Lukas | February 10, 2021 at 1:00 pm |

      Just to be clear, the guy who broke the story *is* on the Mavs’ local beat. He’s the team’s local beat reporter for The Athletic.

      • Julie S | February 10, 2021 at 2:20 pm |

        Ahh, thanks for the clarification. I still wonder why it took this long to make note of it.

        • Paul Lukas | February 10, 2021 at 2:46 pm |

          Part of it, I’m sure, is that they haven’t had fans in the building until now.

  • Gerry Dincher | February 10, 2021 at 12:15 pm |

    I have a good friend from England who taught with me for a couple of years. We would go to local high school football games several times a football season. He was surprised that we play the Star Spangled Banner at every single sporting event. He said that in England the playing of God Save the Queen is reserved for only the most special events, certainly not a local football club match or spelling bee.

  • ChrisH | February 10, 2021 at 12:21 pm |

    I am saddened that the removal of the performance of the National Anthem at sporting events has gained much support.

    • walter | February 10, 2021 at 9:02 pm |

      I am saddened to realize the customs and talismans that should represent a love of country have been misappropriated by one side of an acrimonious political argument as a celebration of their point of view. If you’ve read Peter Bagge’s “The Bradleys” (and its sequel, “Hate”), you’d see why I identify with Buddy Bradley and his friends after being accosted by Buddy’s crewcutted brother, Butch, who requires partygoers to sing the National Anthem before allowing them to use the beer keg.
      For most of my life, patriotism has been used on me and my associates like a cudgel.

  • John B. | February 10, 2021 at 12:32 pm |

    I’m on the Conservative side of politics and I’m okay with stopping the anthem at sporting events. I sort of wonder about Cuban’s motives but otherwise, stopping is fine. I would be okay with special events, holidays or even Sundays like the Royals did.

  • Dwayne Stern | February 10, 2021 at 1:04 pm |

    Would be happy to see the end of the National Anthem at sporting events. It would be great as well if we stopped the flyovers and the camo. As a Canadian I always cringe when I hear the line “our home and native land” sung as “are home and native land”. It happens more than one might think. And don’t get me started about Remembrance Day/Memorial Day – while I absolutely respect the men and women who go to war, I think those days are used as a way to make war palatable.

  • DavidS | February 10, 2021 at 1:31 pm |

    As Paul mentioned, in general the national anthem is not played before movies, concerts etc. However it is played prior to each performance at the Muny in St Louis. For those who don’t know the Muny is St Louis’ outdoor theater venue, https://muny.org. Many in the audience have outstanding voices and hearing them sing in unison is a pretty cool. For some reason the experience feels different than when hearing the anthem before a sporting event.

  • Le Cracquere | February 10, 2021 at 1:39 pm |

    On the one hand, I would be perfectly happy if everybody quit playing the anthem at sports games from now on. On the other hand, Cuban is rather a grandstander and a blowhard; if people charge him with unseemly motives, well, he hasn’t earned much benefit of the doubt there. Still, if it becomes a trend I won’t squawk either.

    • Paul Lukas | February 10, 2021 at 1:51 pm |

      1) For the gazillionth time, the message is what matters, not the messenger.

      2) Actually, if he were a grandstander and a blowhard, at least on this issue, he would have made a big statement about it. Instead, he said absolutely nothing. He simply stopped having the anthem played and, like I said, nobody even noticed. If he wanted attention, he certainly could have gotten it with an issue like this. But he didn’t.

      • Greg | February 10, 2021 at 3:32 pm |

        I’m not sure it is fair to say the message matters, not the messenger. Especially in this day and age. So many things are done entirely for optics, or with covert agendas. Such that the intention is disingenuous. People simply want to be seen doing “the right thing” based entirely on whatever their side deems the right thing, without much thought into why it is right, or even if it is right. Which is to say that the message loses meaning if people aren’t informed.
        We are at the point where information is passed on in tiny little nuggets, such that complicated and nuanced issues are reduced blanked statements, which people jump on and get behind, unaware of any of the details, specifics, or counterpoints to a position. I constantly find myself challenging people I agree with during conversations, because it is quite obvious they don’t fully understand the position they are taking.
        Uni-watch is actually a place where I find civil and informed discussion to be the norm, but that is most certainly not what is going on in most places out there. Debate over the history of, continued playing of, and potential discontinuing of the anthem at sporting events has been discussed a lot on this platform. It has been fleshed out and there seems to be a good understanding of all sides. I don’t think that the general discussion on this subject has had near the same level of intelligent and reasoned debate. Therefore I don’t think it is fair to say the message is correct in this instance, what exactly is the message?
        But I agree with your second point, if Cuban wanted attention for this, he would have done it differently.

      • Le Cracquere | February 10, 2021 at 5:21 pm |

        I’ll consider what you say about Cuban, Paul. However, the messenger DOES matter. For example: one of the most nauseous things about the incessant “GI Joke” uniforms is the mercenary nature of the suits promoting them. And the notion that the right thing can be done for wrong reasons, in a way that reflects culpably on the doer, is simply Moral Philosophy 101.

        • Paul Lukas | February 10, 2021 at 5:25 pm |

          All I’m saying — as I have said countless times before — is that a good idea is a good idea (and a bad one is a bad one) irrespective of the source, and that ideas — like, say, the idea of a team not playing the national anthem prior to home games — should therefore be evaluated on their own merits. That’s all.

  • Dane | February 10, 2021 at 2:07 pm |

    From the Golden Knights twitter feed:

    STATS!

    We are now 4-0-0 all-time when debuting a new uniform in a game*

    *we’ve only had four uniforms

  • Rob Diaz Jr. | February 10, 2021 at 2:34 pm |

    I just wanted to add a bit of info to the comments about standing for the anthem before movies, etc…

    During my time in the military (1990 to 2011), if you went to a movie theater on the facility (Post, AFB, etc.), they played the National Anthem and accompanied it with a video before any of the previews or movie started. It was expected you were to stand and pay proper respect to the Anthem during its performance regardless if you were the active duty member, family or friend of a the member.

    It was a bit odd at first, but after a few instances it became 2nd nature and you rarely noticed it…until you went back to a theater off base and it wasn’t played…

  • Peter | February 10, 2021 at 2:50 pm |

    I also would like to see people stop praying g and saying anything religious at sporting events as they come off projecting

  • Daniel E | February 10, 2021 at 3:18 pm |

    Patriotism is a highly conflicted subject for me in general, aside from all the usual current hot-button issues. On the one hand, I have no doubt that life for the average person in the US is better than life for the average person in many (probably the majority of) other countries. So I’m very grateful for that.

    On the other hand, I also recognize that the United States is in no way intrinsically or morally superior to any other nation. I don’t believe in “American exceptionalism”. I don’t believe that being a citizen of the US somehow makes me better than anyone else. I’m a deeply religious (Christian) person as well, and I think it’s weird that so many of my fellow Christians have such reverence for a country that didn’t even exist when the Bible was written.

    As for the Star-Spangled Banner… I don’t dislike the fact that it’s played before sporting events. I don’t find it offensive or problematic, and I wouldn’t protest it. But, on the other hand, I certainly don’t find it necessary either. There’s no logical connection in my mind between sports and national pride, and the fact that such a connection has developed over time in American culture feels a bit weird and forced.

    All that being said, my ultimate conclusion on the matter is that I fully support a team deciding to stop playing the anthem before games, and I’m disappointed that the NBA has evidently pulled rank now and forced them to do it.

    • Greg | February 10, 2021 at 3:48 pm |

      That’s a good take. And I agree that it is pathetic that the NBA made Cuban walk it back.
      I think it is unfortunate if it goes, but it might be for the best right now. I certainly do object to mandatory playing of it.
      Regarding American exceptionalism, I am going to have to disagree. And I am not disagreeing because I think America is somehow morally superior, in fact America has all the stains other countries have. But rather I believe there is American exceptionalism because unlike so many other countries, being an American is not tied to being FROM America. Being American is about the taking part in a grand experiment that invites people to come here to practice self determination, to work hard to achieve greatness and a better life for your family and future generations. And while I understand our top heavy distribution of wealthy has made that murky, it is still the case, or else people wouldn’t still want to come here. And I think that ties back to the founding of the country, as compared to the founding of many other countries. We may not be perfect, no nation is, but I think the desire and call to be a Shining City is still real. And I think a lot of greatness and inspiration has come from this country, in spite of all of our faults and missteps along the way.

  • Dumb Guy | February 10, 2021 at 3:22 pm |

    Annnnd, the NBA now says everyone has to play the anthem.

  • David O'Leary | February 10, 2021 at 3:23 pm |

    Now the NBA has stepped up and decided that the National Anthem will be played before all games.

  • Steve D | February 10, 2021 at 3:24 pm |

    I always loved hearing the National Anthem at a game…as a kid, it meant I was AT a game. It was routine back then. Jane Jarvis at Shea on the Thomas organ…Robert Merrill with a soaring opera recording at Yankee Stadium. At Madison Square Garden, at game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals, Eddie Layton played it on the organ, just like any other game. No Grammy Winning recording Artist to either ham it up, or worse. So the way it was played meant something to me as a fan, just like keeping true to original logos and unis. Tweaking for the sake of tweaking or to make a buck or promote something made it lose meaning to me.

  • Mike Engle | February 10, 2021 at 7:22 pm |

    You know how Harold Ballard protested the jersey NOB rule by having blue jerseys with blue nameplates with blue text? All Mark Cuban has to do is play the anthem at zero decibels, maybe over unplugged speakers!

    • spinetingler | February 11, 2021 at 10:48 am |

      Or just use the Hendrix version at live concert levels.