Cuban spoke with ONE37pm to discuss his new partnership, his thoughts on TikTok, and if his stance on playing the Anthem had changed following the blowback.
ONE37pm: A week later, how do you feel about your stance on the anthem?
Mark Cuban: Nothing has changed. There are a couple of things, and I am a national anthem guy. That is just the way I was raised, and it is a habit more than anything else. And over time, I have learned that not everyone looks at the national anthem the way I do. When that starts happening, you start doing your homework, and you read about Francis Scott Key, the second, third, and fourth verses; and, understandably, there is a reference to free men, slaves, and you can see how it makes people uncomfortable. With that being said, people have habits, and for me, for 20 years with the Mavs, I would be out there [on the floor] or even in my office bunker; I would stand and put my hand over my heart. During the anthem the stands were not full, people walked around on the concourse, and I did see their response to the anthem; some stopped, but most didn't. And it is not important to them that they are on time for it. It is not important to stop on the concourse. For some, they will not stop and put a beer down, while some won’t even take their hats off. That always bothered me; if this was so important to us, and it is to me. My dad was military and fought in two wars, and was wounded. My uncle was in the Air Force and fought in two wars. If it was so important, then why do we disrespect it like that? It always bothered me, and then over the last couple of years, The anthem has gotten weaponized, and certain people felt their form of patriotism was the only form of patriotism. If you didn’t do it their way, you are not patriotic, and you didn’t love this country, and to me, that was wrong. There is no one way to love this country other than the definition of liberty.
You get to love this country or not. I truly believe 99.99 percent love this country; there are no ifs and about it. Some don’t, but 99.99 percent do. There are people now that feel like their way of honoring our amazing country is the only way. They try to weaponize it, and we saw that with our players. So, going into the season, they had come out of the bubble where there were many messages and emotions. I was like, one: people don’t fully respect it initially, which really bothered me; two: everybody watched what people did with the anthem in those first couple of games; three: we weren’t going to have fans, so let’s see what happens if we didn’t play it. That is actually what I did, and after the lineup, I went over to our PR guy Scooter and said, ``Has anybody said anything? Not a word. “Did you tell the other team and their media what was going on?” Told everybody, not a word, and it continued until the 13th game. A reporter said something, and then that’s when everybody found out. It was never going to be a situation where we weren’t going to play the anthem. It wasn’t a situation where I was against playing it. It was more of a situation where let’s see what happens.
The Mavericks host an event called Seats for Soldiers every year except for Covid. We celebrate more than 100 wounded service members from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and veterans from the Adaptive Training Foundation, and reserve troops from the Dallas/Fort Worth area.