Most Americans Want National Anthem Played at Sporting Events, Poll Shows Amid Mark Cuban Controversy

A majority of Americans say they believe the national anthem should be performed before sporting events, according to a new poll that was released following the recent uproar surrounding Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and the song.

Conducted by Morning Consult, the survey found 76 percent of Americans saying that "The Star Spangled Banner" should be played prior to the start of such events. Seventy-eight percent of self-identified sports fans and 77 percent of NBA fans agreed that the song should be played.

Among different racial demographics, the poll found white adults being most likely to say the anthem should be played, with 81 percent, while 60 percent of Black and 70 percent of Hispanic adults agreed.

The poll also found that Gen Z adults were least likely to say that it is important for professional sports organizations to continue playing the national anthem before the start of competition. According to the poll, 50 percent of Gen Z adults said it was 'important,' with 'very important' and 'somewhat important' both receiving 25 percent.

On the other hand, millennials, Gen X adults and baby boomers were much more likely to say playing the anthem before competition was important, with 72 percent, 78 percent and 81 percent saying so, respectively.

The poll's findings come shortly after Cuban sparked controversy for deciding not to play the anthem before Mavericks games.

During the beginning of the NBA season, the Mavericks did not play the national anthem prior to the games, with Cuban telling The New York Times it was his decision that he made in November. The decision went unnoticed until February 8, which was the team's first game with fans in attendance.

Dallas Mavericks
The national anthem is played before a game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Dallas Mavericks in the first quarter at American Airlines Center on February 12, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. Ronald Martinez/Getty

In the days after the February 8 game, the Mavericks continued to make headlines in regard to their departure from the longstanding tradition. The league then issued a statement that read: "With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy."

Shortly after the NBA response, the Mavericks announced they would begin playing the national anthem again. In a statement Cuban said: "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. 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. Only then we can move forward and have courageous conversations that move this country forward and find what unites us," Cuban further added.

Statement by Mark Cuban

— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) February 10, 2021

While the Mavericks have started playing the anthem again, the earlier decision by Cuban sparked backlash from many, such as Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, who said he was supporting legislation requiring the anthem to be played before all publicly-funded events in the state.

In response to the poll's findings, Cuban told Morning Consult via email that the 10 percent of respondents who opposed playing the anthem before games means "10s of millions of Americans think we can do something better."

Newsweek reached out to Cuban and the Mavericks for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.