Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told his team that if they choose not to stand for America’s national anthem that it is okay with him.
In an interview with CNN Money, the billionaire entrepreneur and staunch Hillary Clinton supporter said, “This country was built on civil disobedience.” He requested from the players that if they did protest, “just make sure you understand what you’re saying and make sure you’re willing to stand up to it and make sure your teammates know so it’s not a surprise to any of them.”
There are many ways to protest social injustices, claims Cuban. San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s choice of not standing for the anthem is a preferred option, he suggested. “[O]f all the ways you could protest, you could throw a bomb, you could shoot a gun, you could throw a punch, you could start a protest, you could try to start a riot, you could shoot somebody, he took a knee.”
The 58-year-0ld native of Pittsburgh and host of Shark Tank went on to say that Kaepernick’s failure to stand for “The Star Spangled Banner” initiated a “huge conversation about what it means to be an American” and “what it means to salute the flag.”
If any of the Mavericks choose to follow in the steps of the embattled 49ers quarterback they will be breaking the rules set out by the National Basketball Association. Players could face penalty or suspension for violating the mandate. The NFL has no such rule.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Victor Oladipo said that he expects NBA players to follow the trend set by Kaepernick and now others in the NFL and throughout professional and amateur sports. ”Oh, no question. I truly believe it will,” he stated in an interview with Complex Sports. “Because at the end of the day it’s a sport, and people are gonna be looking at some guys in the NBA to see what they’re gonna do as well. At the end of the day you just control what you can control, so your opinion is your opinion, that’s the beauty of the United States, so, do whatever you feel is best that will help you do whatever you believe.”
In 1996 David Stern suspended Denver Nuggets player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (Chris Jackson) for sitting down during the national anthem. The former LSU star’s suspension was lifted after one day when he agreed to stand during the anthem. Abdul-Rauf said a prayer in his hands instead.