White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she hadn’t spoken to President Biden about Mark Cuban’s decision to stop playing the national anthem before Mavericks games but believes he respects this kind of peaceful protest at sporting events. Cuban confirmed to The Athletic that it was his decision to no longer play the national anthem prior to home games at American Airlines Center, a decision that drew a big reaction on social media Tuesday."I know he’s incredibly proud to be an American and he has great respect for the anthem and all that it represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform around the world," Psaki told reporters. "He'd also say of course that part of pride in our country means recognizing those moments where we as a country haven't lived up to our highest ideals," the press secretary said. "Which is often and at times what people are speaking to when they take action at sporting events. It means respecting the right people granted to them in the Constitution to peacefully protest." Cuban and the Mavericks didn’t publicize the removal of the national anthem prior to games, but The Athletic reached out to the team after realizing that it wasn’t played before Monday’s matchup.REASON WHY MARK CUBAN, MAVERICKS NIXED NATIONAL ANTHEM REPORTEDLY REVEALED Several team employees only noticed the removal of the anthem on their own, according to The Athletic. They also said that it was not announced or explained internally.The decision to ax the anthem was made because "many" felt like "The Star-Spangled Banner" didn’t represent them and the franchise wants to be able to represent people from all communities and backgrounds when paying tribute to the U.S. at games, The Athletic reported, citing a source close to Cuban.MARK CUBAN, MAVERICKS' NATIONAL ANTHEM AXING DRAWS FERVENT REACTION ON SOCIAL MEDIACuban has been a supporter of players exercising their First Amendment right to protest and of them doing so during the national anthem in recent years.Over the summer, Cuban got into a social media spat with a few people over Mavericks players kneeling for the national anthem. He tweeted "bye" at radio host Mark Davis after he threatened to stop watching if players knelt during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPAccording to The Hill, Cuban then added: "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."That tweet has since been deleted.Fox News' Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.
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