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star spangled banner protection act

Texas’ Star-Spangled Protection Act Preserves the National Anthem and Threatens Sports Franchises, including Mark Cuban’s Mavericks, with Millions in Reparation Payments

This week Texas passed a wide scope of laws, most notable being the Texas Heartbeat Act. However, another law has passed through Texas’ legislative body that is a defensive move by conservatives in the current culture war. 

The law is the Star Spangled Protection Act. It prohibits all Texas governmental entities from entering into a financial agreement with professional sports teams if they refuse to play the national anthem at the start of their home games.

Mark Cuban sparked the need for such legislation earlier this year when he mandated that the Dallas Mavericks stop playing the national anthem before games. He justified this move by saying.

“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country. But we also loudly hear the voices of those who feel that the anthem does not represent them”.   

Many conservatives have found this statement to be nonsensical. They cannot imagine how citizens of the United States can feel “not represented” or offended by a song that honors freedom and the patriots who died for it. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a major moving force behind the new legislation, called out Mark Cuban when he tweeted.

“Sell the franchise & some Texas Patriot will buy it. We ARE the land of free & the home of the brave”.

Disrespecting the national anthem has become increasingly popular since former NFL player Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem as a form of protest.

However, even Texas democrats have calculated that this is a losing side in the culture wars. When the Star Spangled Protection Act passed in the Texas State Senate, it made a wide margin of democrats cross the aisle. 10 out of 13 of the Texas Senate Democrats voted in favor of the act.

So, how would Cuban’s refusal to play the national anthem result in him paying millions? Cuban’s Mavericks would be forced to pay back all government funds they have received from the state, amounting to millions of dollars. 

The Star Spangled Banner Act also states that sports teams in violation of the bill are prohibited from working with Texas on favorable zoning and funding initiatives. Basically, the Dallas Mavericks would have a very difficult time operating in their home state of Texas if they refuse to abide by the new bill. 

In addition to penalties from the state, Cuban would also receive a double technical from Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner. Silver may have noted the shifting winds in the culture war. This is because the day after Cuban’s announcement that he would stop playing the national anthem, the NBA commissioner decided to start enforcing the league-wide rule requiring teams to play the national anthem before tip-off. 

With new legislation and the NBA commissioner against Cuban, it will be interesting to see if he folds or is willing to take the penalties. 

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