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Mavericks owner Mark Cuban – ‘National Anthem Police in this country are out of control’
12:14 PM ET
  • Tim MacMahonESPN Staff Writer

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    • Joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009
    • Covers the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks
    • Appears regularly on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban declared that the “National Anthem Police in this country are out of control,” leading to a tense exchange on Twitter with Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican who represents Texas.

Cuban initially tweeted “Bye” on Sunday evening in response to a tweet from Mark Davis in which the Dallas-based conservative talk show host expressed enthusiasm about the Mavs but added he would no longer be a fan “the minute one player kneels for the anthem,” suggesting Cuban could help guide the Mavs and NBA “to do whatever gesture they wish without insulting the nation.”

Cuban elaborated on his thoughts in another tweet.

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. https://t.co/NUwv7asO44

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) July 20, 2020

“The National Anthem Police in this country are out of control,” Cuban tweeted. “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.”

Cruz, who became a staunch supporter of Donald Trump after finishing as the runner-up for the Republican presidential nomination for the 2016 election, expressed outrage in a Monday morning tweet.

Really??!?

NBA is telling everyone who stands for the flag, who honors our cops and our veterans, to “piss off”? In Texas, no less?

Good luck with that. pic.twitter.com/AVWLMZIqu0

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 20, 2020

“Really??!?” Cruz tweeted. “NBA is telling everyone who stands for the flag, who honors our cops and our veterans, to “piss off”? In Texas, no less? Good luck with that.”

Cuban responded: “Have some balls for once @tedcruz. Speak to me. It’s my tweet.”

Cuban has voiced his support recently for the Black Lives Matter movement and made it clear that he would have no issues if Mavericks players choose to protest by kneeling during the national anthem.

“If they were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them. Hopefully I’d join them,” Cuban said during a June 18 appearance on ESPN’s Outside the Lines.

NBA rules state that players and coaches must stand for the national anthem, but Cuban said he hopes the league can adapt and “allow players to do what’s in their heart.”

“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.”

In 2017, Cuban voiced a different opinion after Trump criticized NFL players who were kneeling during the anthem to protest social injustice and police brutality.

“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.”

Three years later, as the Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Cuban explained what has changed his mindset.

“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.”

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