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Mark Cuban vs. Ted Cruz on ‘national anthem police’ and more: How it all unfolded

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) ended up in a heated exchange on Twitter.
(Ron Jenkins / Associated Press)

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.

The leaders from the 11 Southern California professional teams are forming The Alliance to merge their considerable resources in an effort to aid underserved Black and Latino children through sports.

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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.”

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.

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“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.

Cuban responded Monday morning. Here’s some of the back-and-forth that followed:

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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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