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The Sacramento Kings linking arms during the national anthem in Los Angeles on Feb. 7. Photo: Meg Oliphant/Getty Image

The NBA said in the statement Wednesday that "all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy."

Why it matters: The statement came after Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban said his team hadn't played the national anthem during home games so far this season and didn't plan to do so moving forward. The Mavericks are believed to be the first American professional sports team to cease the practice.

What they're saying: "With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy," the league said in a statement."

Cuban then told The Athletic that the Mavericks will resume playing the anthem in the team's game against the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night.

  • Cuban's statement followed the NBA's, saying the "hope is that those who feel passionate about the anthem being played will be just as passionate in listening to those who do not feel it represents them.”

The big picture: The NBA requires players to stand for the anthem, but the league hasn't enforced the rule in recent years as kneeling became a method of protest, according to Axios' Kendall Baker.

  • Many NBA teams kneeled during the anthem last month following the Capitol siege and news that the police officers who shot Jacob Blake wouldn't face charges.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Feb 10, 2021 - Sports

Dallas Mavericks ditch national anthem

Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks haven't played the national anthem during home games this season and don't plan to play it moving forward, owner Mark Cuban confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: The Mavericks are believed to be the first American professional sports team to cease playing the anthem at home.

McConnell, McCarthy say 2017 tax law is "red line" in infrastructure talks

The top Republicans in the House and Senate told reporters after meeting with President Biden at the White House that "there is a bipartisan desire to get an outcome" on an infrastructure package, but stressed that revisiting the 2017 tax cuts is a "red line."

Why it matters: Wednesday marked the first time that Biden has hosted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) at the White House.

McCarthy: "I don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy" of Biden's win

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was asked Wednesday whether he was concerned about elevating Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to GOP leadership after she has promoted baseless claims about the election. He responded: "I don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election."

Why it matters: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was ousted as House GOP conference chair earlier Wednesday — in a vote that McCarthy supported — over her continued criticisms of former President Trump and his lies about election fraud.