Oh, Say Can You Hear? In Texas, It’s Now A State Law That Pro Sports Teams Must Play The National Anthem Before Every Game, And It Could Cost Millions If They Don’t.

Members of the armed services unfurl a U.S. flag over the field at AT&T Stadium during the playing of the national anthem before a NFL football game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

A number of new laws recently passed in Texas went into effect this week. 

One that has not received a lot of notice and attention is the law that now requires all professional sports teams in Texas to play the Star Spangled Banner before every home game. 

Why did they pass this law in Texas? The Lt. Governor, Dan Patrick made it a priority because Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban did away with the ritual of playing the national anthem before Mavs games. 

So what happens if Cuban decides to not play the anthem before games this season?

The state will hit him where it hurts, his bottom line. No anthem before games means the Texas government will make Cuban and the Mavericks pay back the government funds they have received from the state.  It’s not chump change either, it’s literally millions of dollars they would have to repay. 

Here’s what Cuban said when he nixed the anthem last season. 

“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.”

On top of the Texas state law, Cuban would be hit with a double technical if they banned the anthem going forward. Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner also started enforcing the league-wide rule that teams are required to play the national anthem before tipoff. 

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