Mark Cuban vs. Ted Cruz on ‘national anthem police’ and more: How it all unfolded
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban initially had a one-word response to a conservative radio host who suggested he’d have nothing to do with the team if any players took a knee during the national anthem.
“Bye,” Cuban tweeted.
But that was hardly the end of the matter. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) became involved and accused Cuban of “telling everyone who stands for the flag, who honors our cops and our veterans, to ‘piss off.’” An angry exchange between the two men followed, with the billionaire and the politician touching on such topics as the COVID-19 pandemic and the NBA’s relationship with China.
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Mark Davis, whose radio show is broadcast on 660-AM in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, sent out the tweet that started it all Sunday evening.
“I am so ready to be be in on this year’s #Mavericks home stretch: so much promise, so much personality,” he wrote. “But the minute one player kneels during the anthem, I am OUT.”
I am so ready to be be in on this year's #Mavericks home stretch: so much promise, so much personality. But the minute one player kneels during the anthem, I am OUT. Surely @mcuban can lead the way for #Mavs, #NBA to do whatever gesture they wish without insulting the nation. https://t.co/PWMWrpgwAc— Mark Davis (@MarkDavis) July 20, 2020
Davis went on to tag Cuban, suggesting the team owner should lead the way for players “to do whatever gesture they wish without insulting the nation.”
After his initial three-letter response, Cuban expanded on his thoughts in another tweet.
The National Anthem Police in this country are out of control. If you want to complain, complain to your boss and ask why they don't play the National Anthem every day before you start work. https://t.co/NUwv7asO44— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) July 20, 2020
“The National Anthem Police in this country are out of control” Cuban wrote. “If you want to complain, complain to your boss and ask why they don’t play the National Anthem every day before you start work.”
Cruz soon jumped into the fray.
Really??!?— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 20, 2020
NBA is telling everyone who stands for the flag, who honors our cops and our veterans, to “piss off”? In Texas, no less?
Good luck with that. pic.twitter.com/AVWLMZIqu0
Cuban responded Monday morning. Here’s some of the back-and-forth that followed:
Yes, Mark, my communication tweeting out my response to the world was meant somehow to keep it a secret. Because you’re very scary.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 20, 2020
I’m a Rockets fan, but more than happy to cheer on the Mavericks (great team this year). It’s sad to see you telling so many Texans to “piss off.” https://t.co/s68JYk9MLR
Speaking of balls, tell us what you think about China.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 20, 2020
I’ll wait. https://t.co/s68JYk9MLR
Still no answer from @mcuban— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 20, 2020
Let’s try simpler. Mark, tough guy, can you say “Free Hong Kong”?
Can your players put that on their jerseys?
Can you condemn the CCP’s concentration camps w/ 1 million Uyghurs?
Can you say ANYTHING other than “Chairman Mao is beautiful & wise”? https://t.co/0XpLRaFSw2
I can say Black Lives Matter. I can say there is systemic racism in this country. I can say there is a Pandemic that you have done little to end. I can say I care about this country first and last and.. https://t.co/URFs41XloY— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) July 20, 2020
I agree Black Lives Matter.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 20, 2020
I agree there is a pandemic & we have taken extraordinary steps to defeat it.
Where did that pandemic originate?
Why did Communist China COVER UP the Wuhan outbreak & arrest whistle-blowers?
And why are you terrified to say ONE WORD about China? https://t.co/Tfj2tZnmCP
In 2017, Cuban stated that he expected his players to stand for the anthem. But following the death of George Floyd this spring, Cuban said he would have no problem with any member of the Mavericks taking a knee during the song, as long as they were respectful while doing so.
“I’d be proud of them,” Cuban told ESPN in June. “Hopefully I’d join them.”
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