What so Proudly we Hailed


Phoenix Suns players lock arms for the national anthem before the season finale against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Smiley N. Pool/Dallas Morning News/TNS)

Kevin Aharrah, Design Editor

Last February, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban briefly made the divisive decision to stop playing the national anthem at basketball games hosted by the team.  This omission appears to stem from societal problems related to the anthem — that “The Star-Spangled Banner” doesn’t represent all of the people of the United States and their problems — alongside the idea that this anthem is an unnecessary and skippable formality.

   “We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country. I have always stood for the anthem with the hand over my heart — no matter where I hear it played. But we also hear the voices of those who do not feel the anthem represents them. We feel they also need to be respected and heard, because they have not been heard. The hope is that those who feel passionate about the anthem being played will be just as passionate in listening to those who do not feel it represents them,” Cuban said in a statement according to NPR.

   This decision took effect at least during the Mavericks game on Monday, Feb. 8, where the limited audience of 1,500 vaccinated spectators appeared to show little reaction to the change.  Only two days later, on Feb. 10, the NBA rejected the team’s stance and ordered the Mavericks to continue observing the national anthem.

   “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,” NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said.

   Although the decision itself was short-lived, it highlights our shifting attitudes towards symbols of patriotism, such as the national anthem, across the nation in addition to here at Lake Central.  There are various opinions on the omission of the national anthem, and students seem divided on whether this is a tolerable or even beneficial change, or if it’s a dangerous lack of patriotism. 

   “I would be open if Lake Central removed or toned down the national anthem because it’s such a complicated song to sing for the average person.  I think that they should maybe sing “America the Beautiful” instead of the [current] national anthem because it is easier to sing,” Ryan Draus (11) said.