By now, everybody’s heard that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, also of “Shark Tank” TV fame, has done away with the singing or playing of the national anthem before basketball games and that he’s also declined to tell why.
The 11-14 Mavericks suck, anyway. The team, facing pressure from the league, and no doubt, paying customers, changed its tune and decided to start singing the pre-play song.
“NBA requiring teams to play national anthem after Mark Cuban axed song for Mavs game,” Fox News reported.
But too little, too late. Cuban had already cast the anti-American stone and watched it roll all season.
If he thinks he has a shot in you-know-what at running a viable race to the White House now, he can think again.
“Mark Cuban was seriously weighing a run for president last month,” CNN Business reported in June of 2020.
“Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, didn’t exactly rule out a potential run for president in 2024, but said at this point he wasn’t the right man for the job,” Fox Business reported this January.
He’s not the right man for the job.
Any American who can’t support the playing of the national anthem is an American who can’t properly represent the nation in the White House.
The national anthem is unifying.
It was adopted as America’s song in 1931, a few years after President Woodrow Wilson ordered it played at official events.
In recent times, the anthem has been given a bad name — thanks in large part to the Colin Kaepernnicks of the country and the knee-bending, hands up, don’t shoot, defund the police movement that’s swept the country, largely on waves of ignorance and false narratives.
It’s the third stanza that’s received the bad rap — you know, the lines nobody knows, and few even knew existed.
The lines that go, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”
That’s not to say that’s the reason Cuban didn’t play the anthem at the Mavericks’ home games. But chances are good he went anthem-less due to pressures from the politically agitated.
“Is the US national anthem a racist song?” asked CS Monitor in a 2020 headline.
And here’s the answer: No. The national anthem would only be a racist song if it were advocating for slavery today — if it were calling on Whites, say, to capture and enslave Blacks, say, today, right now, right at this moment in time. If it were making the case that slavery was good, that the buying and selling of humans was a good economic or political practice.
But even in the most critical light, the anthem’s third stanza isn’t making that case. It’s only referencing slaves.
Are we to abolish the word “slave” from the English language, out of concern that its simple existence and literary usage might offend?
Out of many, one. E pluribus unum. America is a country filled with citizens from all walks of life, from all regions of the earth, from lands with all ethnicities and backgrounds and beliefs. It’s a melting pot. It’s supposed to be a melting pot. That’s how it works.
Let’s not forget to melt.
Let’s not deny to unify.
The national anthem is such a simple way to gather together, as one people, as one nation, under one form of limited government, and to sing words that remind of the greatness that is still America: the individual liberties we all cherish and share.
It’s not for an elitist basketball team owner to say otherwise.
And apparently, thankfully, an entire basketball league agrees.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.