Mark Cuban: ‘NBA Doesn’t Have a Political Litmus Test,’ Would Encourage Player Protests

mark-cuban ready
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

With discussion of Colin Kaepernick still filling the sports media, Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban has chimed in to say that if Kaepernick were a basketball player, he believes the protest would be fully embraced by the National Basketball Association.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Cuban claimed that Kaepernick would not be sitting out a season if he were in the NBA.

Cuban said he was “glad” that the NBA doesn’t have a “politician litmus test” for players. “I’d like to think we encourage our players to exercise their constitutional rights,” he added.

But it may not be as cut and dried as Cuban would like to think.

As USA Today’s Andrew Joseph points out, the NBA would impose a fine for such an action as Kaepernick’s: “But to Cuban’s point, Kaepernick’s anthem protest would have drawn a fine in the NBA had the league enforced its rule requiring players to stand during the anthem. [NBA Commissioner] Silver also said last year that standing during the anthem would be “the appropriate thing to do.” Silver has also urged players to visit Donald Trump’s White House if invited.”

The NBA has also been careful to remind players that they aren’t allowed to violate uniform regulations during games, though some players have worn t-shirts during warm-ups advocating for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Overall, the NBA did not embrace the anthem protest movement in 2016 to the same extent that the NFL did, at least not on the court.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.