The NBA’s Dallas Mavericks stopped playing the national anthem before home games at the direction of owner Mark Cuban in February. In reaction to the move, Texas Republicans passed a bill called the “Star Spangled Banner Act,” requiring the anthem to be played before professional sports games in Texas lest teams want to give up their funding and business relationship with the state.
The legislation passed last week and is headed to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for signature.
The anthem snub by the Mavericks, which lasted 13 games (including some pre-seasons games), was said to be “the first instance we know of a pro sports team striking the U.S. anthem from the pre-game,” according to Tim Cato, the reporter who broke the story for The Athletic.
Cuban confirmed to Cato that he was the one who decided the Mavs should pull the anthem.
“None of 13 preseason and regular-season games played at the American Airlines Center this season have featured the anthem before