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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.

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.