While the NFL has been buried in national anthem protest chaos all season, the NBA has had some time to figure out what to do about this before the regular season starts this week.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has decided to start the season off on a patriotic note, showing a video tribute to the American flag before their home opener Wednesday.
The premise of the video is the fact that the flag has been present for all the great moments in Mavericks history.
Cuban’s take on the protests
From the Dallas Morning News:
“What makes this country special is that we respect the people that disagree with us,” he said. “We don’t tell people how to think. That’s what makes our flag special. It’s not illegal to burn it. It’s not illegal to stomp on it. You can find that abhorrent behavior.
“But the fact that they can do it makes us different than every other country in the world. And that’s what makes me so proud. We’re going to honor the flag before a game. And like I told our guys, if they have something they want to say, we’ll put them on the video and let them say exactly what’s on their mind, so they control the narrative. Then the minute the ball goes up, all of that is forgotten and we play the game.”
What will the NBA do?
Media attention will surely be on the pregame anthem festivities for all the early-season NBA games to see who stands, who kneels, and who does something unexpected.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has already said he expects all the players to stand during the anthem, but the NBA has long held a reputation as a more socially active and player-driven league than the NFL, so it seems unlikely that 100 percent of players will heed Silver’s wishes.
The NBA rulebook dictates that players “stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem.”
NBA players and coaches have taken aggressive political stances lately, such as Steph Curry and Kevin Durant saying they would refuse an invitation to the White House, LeBron James calling President Donald Trump a “bum” on Twitter, and most recently Spurs coach Gregg Popovich calling Trump a “soulless coward.”