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White House Hints at Support for Mavericks Banning Anthem

Casa Blanca , apoyo, Mavericks

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Does the White House support the Dallas Mavericks in their stance of not playing the national anthem before home games or not?

The answer was not entirely clear, but the spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, hinted at some support from the Biden-Harris administration by giving an ambiguous answer, placing the administration in a middle ground between the critics of the NBA team and those who support them for the decision to ban “The Star-Spangled Banner” during this season.

According to the conservative New York Post, during “a White House press conference, spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked about President Joe Biden’s opinion of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s decision to no longer play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ following the kneeling athletes’ protest of systemic racism.”

“Well, I haven’t spoken to the president about Mark Cuban‘s or the Dallas Mavericks’ decision,” Psaki responded to the question, “but I know he’s incredibly proud to be an American, and he has great respect for the anthem, and all that it stands for, especially for our men and women who serve in uniform around the world.”

Automatically, the chief White House spokeswoman “then appeared to endorse the decision and said athletes who chose to kneel during the anthem were calling out the nation’s failures,” the Post reported.

“I would also say that, of course, that part of our country’s pride means recognizing the times when we, as a country, have failed to live up to our highest ideals, which is often, and sometimes, when people are speaking out when they take action at sporting events,” the White House spokeswoman explained.

“And that means respecting people’s rights, given to them by the Constitution to peacefully protest,” she continued. “That’s the reason he ran for president in the first place and that’s what he focuses on every day.”

Jen Psaki, Casa Blanca
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a news briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, in Washington, DC, USA, 10 February 2021. (FE)
Shying away from controversy?

The Dallas Mavericks’ case about no longer listening to the anthem before home games is giving a lot to talk about. There were points of contention in American society, especially between conservatives, mostly patriots, and progressives/liberals, who look favorably on the protest that athletes make by kneeling every time the national anthem is played.

Mark Cuban, the owner of the Mavericks, “has been a staunch supporter of those who want to kneel during the national anthem, a practice that former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started in 2016, sparking a partisan political debate,” the Post said.

It is worth remembering that this symbol of protest intensified after the deaths of George Floyd and Jacob Blake. It is related to the criticism of “systematic and institutional racism in the United States,” a slogan exposed from the progressive political side of the country.

According to Fox News, the reason the Dallas Mavericks will no longer listen to the national anthem is because “‘many’ felt that ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ did not represent them and the franchise wants to be able to represent people from all communities and backgrounds when they pay tribute to America at games.”

Playing national anthem before games is a long-standing tradition in the United States that grew stronger, especially after World War II when the American sense of patriotism reached a formidable level of significance.

The NBA, a competition that was not controlling who or which players did not stand when the anthem was played before games (by regulation players must stand, as a sign of respect), following the Mavericks’ controversial decision had to take sides and say that all teams should sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The White House, which is in a complicated position seeing all the controversy regarding The Dalles and the anthem case, opted for a politically correct response and did not condemn the Mavericks’ stance, which puts them at a diametrically opposite point from the outgoing Trump administration that urged players to stand as a show of respect and patriotism.

“The Mavericks are believed to be the first U.S. professional sports team to stop playing the anthem at home,” noted Axios.

Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.

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