Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban takes U-turn on players kneeling during anthem: 'Hopefully I'd join them'
Cuban had said earlier that he wanted his players to stand during the national anthem though he supported peaceful protest
It seems billionaire Mark Cuban has changed his stance on players kneeling in protest during the national anthem.
Prior to the 2017-18 NBA season, the Dallas Mavericks owner had said that while he was all for peaceful protests, he wanted his players to stand during the anthem. But on Thursday, Cuban declared that he will fully support his players if they decide to kneel when the NBA season resumes in Orlando. What's more? He also hinted that he would participate in their protests with them.
“If they were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I'd be proud of them," he said on ESPN's Outside the Lines. “Hopefully I'd join them, because I think we've learned a lot since 2017. 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," Cuban added.
The billionaire investor said the NBA must allow its players to peacefully protest during the national anthem in the wake of ongoing protests against racial injustice and police brutality. As of today, the league's rulebook says that “players, coaches, and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the national anthem."
"You know, hopefully, we'll be adapting. Hopefully, we'll allow players to do what's in their heart," Cuban said. "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. 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."
"I'll defer to [Commissioner] Adam [Silver] on any final judgments and [NBPA executive director] Michele Roberts,” Cuban added. “But the reality is, my hope is we'll let the players do exactly what they think is the right thing to do."
Earlier this month, the entrepreneur insisted that it was "white people" who "need to change."
“Dear White People,” he wrote in a controversial tweet. “We are the ones that need to change. This is not one man’s story. This is almost every black man’s story. Which is why the problem is ours. We need to find OUR way to change what we do. There is no quick fix. It’s a moral imperative.”
Cuban said that just treating people equally was not enough. “I used to think treating people equally meant treating them the same. Like it was a math equation. I was wrong. I’m learning that treating people equally means treating them with equal amounts of respect, for who they are and what they have experienced,” he added.