Politics

New Law Makes Skipping National Anthem at Sports in Texas a Punishable Offense

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As the month of September began Wednesday, Texas officially instituted more than 650 new laws. One of them will directly affect professional sports teams in the state.

According to The Texas Tribune, Senate Bill 4, also known as the “Star Spangled Banner Protection Act,” will require pro sports teams that receive public funds to play the national anthem before each game.

The bill is a direct response to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s decision to yank the national anthem from pregame ceremonies in the beginning of the 2020-21 season.

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Cuban said on Feb. 9 that the Mavericks no longer were playing the anthem before their home games, The New York Times reported. They hadn’t played it throughout their preseason and regular-season games up until that point.

A day later, the NBA issued a statement saying “all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy.”

Cuban said he would comply but issued a statement defending his original decision.

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“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country,” he said. “But we also loudly hear the voices of those who feel that the anthem does not represent them. We feel that their voices need to be respected and head, because they have not been.”

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