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Billionaire. Entrepreneur. Shark.
Now we can add Anthem Kneeler to Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban's long list of titles.
According to The New York Post, Cuban is the latest professional sports icon to get WOKE:
In an interview with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Thursday, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was asked what his reaction would be if he saw Mavericks players not standing during the anthem.
“If they were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them. Hopefully I’d join them,” he said.
Considering NBA rules explicitly state that players and coaches must stand during the national anthem, Cuban mentioned that he hopes the league can “allow players to do what’s in their heart.”
“Whether it’s holding their arm up in the air, whether it’s taking a knee, whatever it is, I don’t think this is an issue of respect or disrespect to the flag or to the anthem or to our country,” he said. “I think this is more a reflection of our players’ commitment to this country and the fact that it’s so important to them that they’re willing to say what’s in their heart and do what they think is right.
The NBA has a rule which prohibits kneeling during the Anthem.
Cuban hopes that the league will support what's "in the player's hearts."
Just a few short years ago, however, Cuban has an entirely different stance on the issue.
In 2017, Cuban voiced a different opinion after President Donald Trump criticized NFL players who were kneeling during the anthem to protest social injustice and police brutality.
"This is America, and I'm proud of people who speak out civilly. That's who we are as a country," Cuban said at the time. "I'll be standing there with my hand over my heart. I think the players will be [standing]. I expect them to be."
Three years later, as the Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Cuban explained what has changed his mindset.
"Because I think we've learned a lot since 2017," he told OTL. "I think we've evolved as a country. And this is really a unique point in time where we can grow as a society, we can grow as a country and become far more inclusive and become far more aware of the challenges that minority communities go through.
Genuine change of heart?
Or going where the money is?
You could never know if Cuban truly supports Anthem protesting but one thing that's changed between 2017 & today is that these movements have picked up more power than they achieved before.
Cuban may very well support his players kneeling, and truly would like to join them.
But I'm sure he knows he won't be making as much money if he didn't.