Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban declared that the “National Anthem Police in this country are out of control,” leading to a tense exchange on Twitter with Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican who represents Texas.
Cuban initially tweeted “Bye” on Sunday evening in response to a tweet from Mark Davis in which the Dallas-based conservative talk show host expressed enthusiasm about the Mavs but added he would no longer be a fan “the minute one player kneels for the anthem,” suggesting Cuban could help guide the Mavs and NBA “to do whatever gesture they wish without insulting the nation.”
Cuban elaborated on his thoughts in another tweet.
“The National Anthem Police in this country are out of control,” Cuban tweeted. “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, who became a staunch supporter of Donald Trump after finishing as the runner-up for the Republican presidential nomination for the 2016 election, expressed outrage in a Monday morning tweet.
“Really??!?” Cruz tweeted. “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.”
Cuban responded: “Have some balls for once @tedcruz. Speak to me. It’s my tweet.”
Cruz responded to Cuban by asking his thoughts on the NBA’s relationship with China and took a dig at him by asking if his players could use “Free Hong Kong” on their jerseys.
Cuban responded: “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..”
Cuban has voiced his support recently for the Black Lives Matter movement and made it clear that he would have no issues if Mavericks players choose to protest by kneeling during the national anthem.