Billionaire Mark Cuban came under fire Tuesday morning for having defended communist China as a business partner in light of his decision to banish the national anthem from home games of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, a team Cuban owns.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) slammed the “Shark Tank” star, tweeting, “[Mark Cuban] won’t call out China for its atrocities, but he will order the National Anthem not to be played at [Dallas Mavericks] games. Just another example of how the left hates America.”
Just another example of how the left hates America. https://t.co/h56b9oDjWF
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) February 10, 2021
“To be fair, you only have time for one national anthem and they’ve already got to play China’s so…,” mocked conservative host Steve Deace.
To be fair, you only have time for one national anthem and they’ve already got to play China’s so… https://t.co/nnGG85Pvzb
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) February 10, 2021
@mcuban Your decision to cancel our National Anthem at @dallasmavs games is a slap in the face to every American & an embarrassment to Texas. Sell the franchise & some Texas Patriots will buy it. We ARE the land of free & the home of the brave. https://t.co/mkDszFoxJa
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) February 10, 2021
“Mark Cuban” is “[o]kay doing business with China despite their concentration camps where women have been tortured and raped with batons forced into their vaginas,” blasted conservative Robby Starbuck. “Not okay with the national anthem for the country that made him a billionaire playing before NBA games Says a lot.”
• Okay doing business with China despite their concentration camps where women have been tortured and raped with batons forced into their vaginas
• Not okay with the national anthem for the country that made him a billionaire playing before NBA games
Says a lot.
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) February 10, 2021
As noted by The Daily Wire on Tuesday morning, Cuban directed the Mavericks to stop playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before home games this season.
Tim Cato, who broke the story at The Athletic on Monday evening, said the anthem snub by the Mavericks is “the first instance we know of a pro sports team striking the U.S. anthem from the pre-game.”
Cuban confirmed to Cato that he was the one who decided the Mavs should pull the anthem.
“None of 13 preseason and regular-season games played at the American Airlines Center this season have featured the anthem before the game, including Monday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the first played this season with a limited amount of fans in attendance,” Cato reported Monday. “The Mavericks did not publicize the anthem’s removal, and The Athletic was the first media organization to reach out about the change after noticing its absence on Monday. Multiple team employees described only noticing the anthem’s removal on their own, as it was also not announced or explained internally.”
In October, Cuban emphasized to host Megyn Kelly that he has no issues doing business with China, despite a litany of humans rights violations. The Daily Wire reported:
Speaking with Megyn Kelly on “The Megyn Kelly Show,” the Dallas Mavericks owner could not understand why people might be critical of the fact that the NBA would be willing to ignore China’s alleged human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslims, Hong Kong protesters, and Christians.
“The question remains, why won’t you and the NBA explicitly condemn that?” she asked.
“I personally put a priority on domestic issues. I’m against human rights violations around the world,” he responded.
“Including the ones in China?” Kelly asked.
“China is not the only country with human rights violations,” Cuban replied.
“Including China, Mark?” she fired back.
“Yes, including China. Any human rights violations anywhere are wrong,” Cuban admitted.
As the interview went on, Kelly asked why the NBA would “take $500 million dollars-plus from a country that is engaging in ethnic cleansing?”
“So basically, you’re saying that nobody should do business with China ever?” Cuban said in defense.
“They are a customer. They are a customer of ours. And guess what, Megyn? I’m okay with doing business with China,” he added, as reported by The Hill. “You know, I wish I could solve all the world’s problems, Megyn. I’m sure you do too. But we can’t. And so we have to pick our battles. And while you’d like to get proclamations so you can create a clip that says, ‘Look what I got Mark to say,’ you don’t want to deal with the actual action item.”
The NBA ignited a firestorm of controversy in the fall of 2019 when they seemingly apologized to China after Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey expressed support for the pro-democracy Hong Kong protesters, The Daily Wire noted.
“We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable,” said NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass, at the time. “While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.”
Amid backlash, NBA commissioner Adam Silver contended the statement was never meant to be an apology to the Chinese government.
“It bothered me that in saying we regretted upsetting hundreds of millions of Chinese fans while at the same time supporting Daryl Morey’s speech, it bothered me, I’d say, that it was interpreted as an apology to the Chinese government,” Silver said. “We certainly didn’t apologize to the Chinese government. We supported Daryl from the get-go in terms of his ability to tweet. We also made clear that there were consequences from that speech. And, I think that was no doubt frustrating to a lot of people in the NBA community because it was incredibly disruptive.”