For many years the National Anthem has been played prior to the beginning of every major sporting event in the United States. But in recent years the practice has drawn some contention with some athletes choosing to use the playing of the anthem as a platform for peaceful protest against social injustice by kneeling or “taking a knee”.
The protests drew so much controversy that some television networks refused to air the playing of the anthem. There have even been cases where the playing of the anthem was eliminated all together in order to prevent players from using for protest.
The Texas legislature has taken matters into their own hands by proposing a bill that would require the playing of the anthem at all games where the teams have government contracts.”
The bill states, “government entities would be banned from entering contracts with pro sports teams without written agreement from the teams to play the national anthem before all preseason, regular season and postseason game.”
The bill passed overwhelmingly with just two Senators voting against the bill.
The bill was proposed after the NBA Dallas Mavericks announced that they would not be playing the National Anthem prior to the playing of games. Thirteen games had been played before anyone noticed the practice.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has complied with the proposed bill and spoke on the bill 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. We feel that their voices need to be respected and heard, because they have not been.”
He added, “going forward, our hope is that people will take the same passion they have for this issue and apply the same amount of energy to listen to those who feel differently from them.”