By CBSLA Staff

LAKE BUENA VISTA , FL – SEPTEMBER 24: In this double exposure LeBron James (23) of the Los Angeles Lakers locks arms with teammates Anthony Davis (3) and Quinn Cook (28) as they kneel during the national anthem before the first quarter of game four against the Denver Nuggets at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on Thursday, September 24, 2020. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The National Basketball Association reiterated the league’s policy on playing the American national anthem Wednesday after reports of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban refusing to do so prior to games.

In a terse statement, NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said: “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.”

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The statement came hours after Cuban said he decided before the season not to have the national anthem played before the team’s home games.

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Cuban didn’t initially elaborate on his decision not to play the anthem, saying nobody had noticed.
He later wrote in a tweet that was subsequently deleted: “The National Anthem Police in this country are out of control. If you want to complain, complain to your boss and ask why they don’t play the National Anthem every day before you start work.”

The decision is believed to be the first instance of a U.S. pro sports team striking the anthem from the pregame.

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Throughout the first several days of last season, players and coaches from each team – including Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis – have taken to kneeling during the anthem, continuing the protest started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2017.