Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Tuesday he decided before the season not to have the national anthem played before the team's home games.
The Mavericks played their first 10 regular-season home games at the American Airlines Center without fans. The club had fans for the first time in Monday's 127-122 win over Minnesota. Dallas is allowing 1,500 vaccinated essential workers to attend games for free.
Cuban didn't elaborate on his decision not to play the anthem, saying nobody had noticed. The Athletic was first to report that Dallas had dropped the anthem.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said, "Under the unique circumstances of this season, teams are permitted to run their pregame operations as they see fit."
Cuban wasduring "The Star-Spangled Banner" when the 2019-20 season resumed in the bubble in Florida last summer.
According to The Athletic, "Cuban said in July that he would kneel with players during the anthem. He also tweeted, '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.'"
The pregame national anthem is a staple of American sports at both the professional and collegiate level, but is far less commonplace at pro sporting events in other countries.