In February, we reported that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had stopped playing the national anthem before his team’s games. This has since come back to haunt Cuban, as Texas Republicans have fired back by hitting him right where it hurts – his wallet.
Cuban never publicized not playing the national anthem. The news of what he was doing only broke at the time because other teams noticed on their own that “The Star Spangled Banner” never played. Cuban tried to defend himself at the time in a statement to NPR:
“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.”
“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.”
— Dianna (@DiannaOpinion) May 28, 2021
Unlike the Mavericks, both the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Stars defiantly said they would continue to show their love for America by playing “The Star Spangled Banner.”
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Republican state Rep. Dustin Burrows hit back at Cuban in March by sponsoring Senate Bill 4, also known as the “Star-Spangled Banner Act.”
This bill makes it so that while sporting teams have the right to not play the national anthem, those who do not play it will not be eligible for any funding from the state.
How genius is that?!
“It’s very simple. If they do not want to play the national anthem, they don’t take the tax dollars,” Burrows told 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.”
“The Star Spangled Banner Act” was passed this week. And, it is now headed to the desk of Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who will undoubtedly sign it into law.
The debate over the “The Star-Spangled Banner Act” got intense on Monday, as state Democrats argued that teams should 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,” said Rep. Jasmine Felicia Crockett (D). “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.”
However, Democrats were not successful in adding that song to the bill.
You’ve got to love Texas. God bless the Lone Star State!