Psaki On Dallas Mavericks Stopping National Anthem Before Games: It’s About Recognizing U.S. Isn’t Perfect
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House January 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. Psaki held her second press briefing since President Joe Biden took office yesterday.
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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki signaled that President Joe Biden respected Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s decision to stop playing the national anthem before NBA games, a decision that he walked back following backlash.

“Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said Tuesday night that he had instructed the team to stop playing the national anthem before its home games this season,” The New York Times reported. “‘It was my decision, and I made it in November,’ Cuban said. He declined to comment further.”

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked Psaki about the issue during the White House press briefing on Wednesday.

“Two topics,” Doocy said. “First of all, what does President Biden think about the Dallas Mavericks’ owner, Mark Cuban, deciding to indefinitely stop playing the national anthem before his National Basketball Association games?”

“Well, I haven’t spoken with the president about the decision by Mark Cuban on the Dallas Mavericks — or the, I should say, the national anthem — but I know he’s incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem and all that it represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform around the world,” Psaki responded. “He’d also say that, of course, that part of the — that pride in our country means recognizing moments where we as a country haven’t lived up to our highest ideals, which is often and at times what people are speaking to when they take action at sporting events. And it means respecting the right of people, granted to them in the Constitution, to peacefully protest. That’s why he ran for president in the first place, and that’s what he’s focused on doing every day.”


Doocy later asked a follow-up question about the administration’s attempt to get schools fully reopened and in-person learning going again.

“And then, on schools, when President Biden talked for the last couple of months, particularly during the transition, about reopening schools within the first 100 days, why didn’t he ever mentioned the small print that that was just going to be for one day a week as the goal?” Doocy asked.

“Well, again, the president made a — set a goal of reopening the majority of schools within 100 days, and when you asked what that meant, I answered the question,” she said. “So we are — that is the — that is not the ceiling, that is the — that is the bar we’re trying to leap over and exceed. And as I said in response to Kristen’s question, the president wants to not just open schools, he wants them to stay reopened. He wants kids to be back in school learning five days a week. He wants everybody — parents to feel safe, teachers to feel safe.”

“That’s why he asked his Department of Education and the CDC to work together on guidelines,” she added. “That’s why he’s put funding — proposed funding in the American Rescue Plan, because he knows that’s not going to happen on its own. It’s going to need some assistance to make it — make it reality.”

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