Following direct orders from owner Mark Cuban, The Dallas Mavericks have not been playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before home games all season. On Wednesday the NBA league office released a statement that all teams are required to play the national anthem at home games.

Cuban said in a statement following the league’s notice: “we respect and always respect the passion people have for the anthem and our country.

I have always stood for the anthem with my hand over my heart- no matter where I hear it played. But we also hear the voices of those who do not feel the anthem represents them” Cuban added “We feel they also need to be respected and heard, because they have not been.

Larger Than Basketball?

The national anthem and how people act during its playing is a very hot topic in the United States during a time of heated political turmoil.

Athletes protesting the national anthem was made popular by Colin Kaepernick when he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick would either kneel or sit during the anthem.

Mavericks Stop Playing the National Anthem

Following outcry from fans across the country, Kaepernick clarified his position. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.

To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way” his issue was not meant to disrespect the flag, instead, he was protesting what he felt as the underlying issues the United States has with minorities.

Kaepernick was not the first athlete to protest the national anthem. More than two decades ago, the NBA was embroiled in controversy when the player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refused to stand during the anthem while he was a member of the Denver Nuggets.

Abdul-Rauf had converted to Islam and cited that he refused to acknowledge the flag for similar reasons as Kaepernick.

I don’t feel like I need to validate myself on this opinion. Whether you are Caucasian, African, Asian, or mixed in this country we are all Americans. As Americans, we are entitled to our own free opinions and peacefully protesting when we feel something is wrong.

Mavericks Stop Playing the National Anthem

The Bigger Picture

That is what makes this country the shining beam of democracy. I support athletes using their elevated celebrity status to bring awareness to issues they care about.

Do I want them to preach to us and give out their solutions to these issues? Emphatically no. Just like I don’t want to see Neil Degrass Tyson, Jeff Bezos, or Elon Musk try to tell Bill Belichick how to coach his team or tell Lebron James how to dunk. That’s not their specialty so stay in your lane.

But just because someone isn’t an expert in something or in this case, hasn’t experienced racism first-hand doesn’t mean their opinion isn’t valid. And for the ones who have experienced it then yes they should speak up and bring awareness to the issue.

At the end of the day, it should not matter what the color of your skin is. The biggest and most important issue to determining if you are a good person is if you are an FSU fan. Those people all suck. Canes by a million.

In all seriousness though, the foundation of our democracy is letting people live their lives and pursuing happiness without being infringed upon. Why do you need to be so mad about the choices that someone else makes if they aren’t physically or mentally hurting you or someone else?

Mentally hurting is bullying or being rude towards someone. If you are annoyed cause your neighbor is gay or a different religion then you’re just weak-minded. Otherwise, just go about your day and let other people live their lives. We don’t have much time on this spinning rock so why waste it being mad because of someone else?