Politics

Texas House Votes To Yank State Funding From Sports Teams That Don’t Play National Anthem At Games

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The Texas House gave final passage Tuesday to the so-called “Star Spangled Banner Protection Act,” a conservative-backed bill that would require any professional sports teams with contracts with the Texas state government to play the national anthem before the start of a game.

Senate Bill 4 heads next to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.

House Republicans defeated several proposed amendments along partisan lines, signaling more division on the issue in the lower chamber than was seen in the Senate, which passed the bill last month with overwhelming bipartisan support and only two votes against it.

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Athletes protesting the national anthem has become a divisive and partisan issue since NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling in 2016 to protest police brutality against Black Americans.

In February, Patrick named the bill one of his legislative priorities after Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, stopped playing the anthem before home games, which went largely unnoticed during the pandemic with no fans in the stands.

That decision quickly drew the ire of conservative lawmakers in the state.

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“Sell the franchise & some Texas Patriots will buy it,” Patrick said in a tweet at the time. “We ARE the land of free & the home of the brave.”… (Read more)

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