Jen Psaki: National Anthem Protests Highlight Failures of the United States

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that President Joe Biden supported protests of the national anthem at sporting events.

“[P]art of the pride in our country means recognizing moments where we as a country haven’t lived up to our highest ideals,” she said, characterizing Biden’s position.

Psaki spoke about the national anthem protests after she was asked by a reporter to react to the Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s decision to stop playing the national anthem altogether before their games.

According to a source close to Cuban, he made his decision not to play the anthem before games because “many feel anthem doesn’t represent them.”

Psaki said that she had not spoken with the president about his views on Cuban’s decision, but clarified Biden’s belief in the right to protest during the national anthem at sporting events.

“It means respecting the right of people granted to them in the constitution to peacefully protest,” she continued. “That’s why he ran for president in the first place and that’s what he’s focused on doing every day.

Cuban was ultimately overruled by the National Basketball Association, who issued a statement in response to the controversy.

“With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy,” the league’s Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said.


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