Mark Cuban Hopes to Join Players in Kneeling for the National Anthem
Mark Cuban is a maverick in every sense of the word.
The Dallas Mavericks owner is unquestionably one of the most popular owners across all of sports and his ability to relate to players is one of the big reasons why. He is a progressive thinker, not just a shrewd entrepreneur, and Cuban hopes to join his players in kneeling for the national anthem if they choose to do it.
“If they were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them. Hopefully I’d join them,” Cuban said.
Cuban hopes the the NBA will allow players to act as they wish during the anthem.
“Whether it’s holding their arm up in the air, whether it’s taking a knee, whatever it is, I don’t think this is an issue of respect or disrespect to the flag or to the anthem or to our country,” Cuban said. “I think this is more a reflection of our players’ commitment to this country and the fact that it’s so important to them that they’re willing to say what’s in their heart and do what they think is right.
“I’ll defer to [commissioner] Adam [Silver] on any final judgments and [players’ union executive director] Michele Roberts. But the reality is, my hope is we’ll let the players do exactly what they think is the right thing to do.”
Back in 2017, Cuban had a different stance ono the matter.
“This is America, and I’m proud of people who speak out civilly. That’s who we are as a country,” Cuban said at the time. “I’ll be standing there with my hand over my heart. I think the players will be [standing]. I expect them to be.”
Nevertheless, Cuban admits that he has changed his perspective and has educated himself.
“Because I think we’ve learned a lot since 2017,” he told OTL. “I think we’ve evolved as a country. And this is really a unique point in time where we can grow as a society, we can grow as a country and become far more inclusive and become far more aware of the challenges that minority communities go through.
“So I’ll stand in unison with our players, whatever they choose to do. But again, when our players in the NBA do what’s in their heart, when they do what they feel represents who they are and look to move this country forward when it comes to race relationships, I think that’s a beautiful thing and I’ll be proud of them.”
Numerous coaches, general managers, and owners look ready to join players in their protest.