Dallas Stars pull the ultimate dog-whistle #PleaseLikeMySport, fragile white people


Stand and salute or you’re a goshdang commie, so sayeth the Dallas Stars. Image: Getty ImagesIt didn’t take tarot cards and an 800-number to figure out where the Mavericks/anthem debate was going to go. And never let it be said that the NHL and hockey in general would miss a chance to try and show just how traditional and loyal they are, while actually showing exactly what they really are. Dallas Stars, come on down!Did anyone ask for this? Nope. Was anyone sitting around the Metroplex thinking, “Boy, I wonder what the Stars think of their roommates not playing the anthem in front of basically no one?” Certainly not. But like any ignorant and yet arrogantly assured assclown who enters a debate that didn’t involve him (always a him), they’re going to tell you what they think and are damn sure you want to hear it. Again, you don’t need a cipher to figure out what the Stars are doing here. This is every bit of a dog-whistle and almost at an infomercial level of one. This is a rush to try and turn the heads of anyone upset by the Mavs skipping the anthem, and you know exactly who that is. Anyone who gets really angry about the flag “not being respected” looks the same, and that’s clearly whom the Stars think is their target audience. Again, this is hockey, and it’s shown no urge to try and grow their fanbase beyond those who struggle to make toast (fuck, some of them even coach in the league!). Let’s not underestimate the Texas-wrapping of themselves either, as if being the only NHL team in Texas had anything to do with anything. But hey, if you’re going whole “These Colors Don’t Run!” you might as well keep going and give the horns-sign and break a bottle of Lone Star over your head before eating the shards.G/O Media may get a commissionNow, this is an NHL team, and we have to allow for the possibility that this was somehow unintentional and just a complete missing of their mark by a football field or two. This is a league filled with teams capable of that kind of dumbassery. But this one seems a little too pointed, a little too timely, and a little too thorough to have been some sort of accident. The Stars PR team certainly knows exactly what it’s doing. This is a beacon for the NBA-hating, which is a specific kind of hockey fan that turns away from the NBA and runs to the “good Canadian boys” because of the makeup of the NBA. And they’re rarely subtle about it. They might as well hang a sign outside the American Airlines Center before Stars games that reads, “Give us your ig-nant, your hateful, your chaw-soaked yearning to be racist.” Or this: .

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NBA doubles-down on national anthem, will require all teams to play it before games


Mark Cuban, who decided to stop playing the national anthem before Mavs games, has now been directed to do otherwise by the league.Image: Getty ImagesThe NBA is doing the most right now.The league is currently willing to die on a hill that might be as unnecessary as a winter coat in Miami.After Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban decided to stop playing the National Anthem before Dallas home games this season, the NBA responded today by releasing a statement that said all teams will have to play the national anthem per league policy.The craziest part of the story is that Cuban and the Mavericks had not played the Anthem at any of their 13 of their home games so far this season, and no one even noticed until a few days ago. The team allowed fans to attend games for the first time all season on Monday. The Mavericks will play the Anthem moving forward, starting with their game against Atlanta on Wednesday. Cuban released a statement following the decision.G/O Media may get a commissionCuban also joined The Jump today to address the controversy surrounding his decisions on the anthem.ESPN reported that Cuban originally decided to cut the anthem in November after consulting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver. The National Anthem has been controversial in the sports landscape for years now. Colin Kaepernick and a plethora of other athletes have demonstrated during the song to bring attention to racial injustice in this country. The NBA relaxed its policy on forcing players to stand for the national anthem during the Orlando bubble after months of increased racial tensions following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.For many Americans especially people of color, the anthem invoked many emotions that aren’t positive. A lot of Black and brown people have a complex relationship with America that isn’t represented through the Star-Spangled Banner. The song itself was written by a slave owner and has racist lyrics.Aside from all of the problematic issues that swirl around this song, what makes this conversation even more aggravating is the fact that many people can’t even justify the need for playing the anthem before a sporting event outside of the fact that it is a common practice. We’ve been unnecessarily playing this song before sporting events for decades with little benefit from it just for the heck of it.Do they play the national anthem before you go to work every day? Do they play it before Congress tries to make a law? Do they play it before the Grammys?NoSo what makes the anthem so important that it deserves to be played before every sporting event?Absolutely nothing, it’s honestly just a big waste of everyone’s time and energy. And that’s no disrespect to the women and men of the military who risk their lives for our safety. If we are keeping it real, playing the anthem doesn’t benefit them anyway. What would benefit them would be supporting causes that help make veterans’ lives better once they leave the service or getting Congress to pass legislation to help veterans adjust to regular life once they are off the battlefield.The NBA’s position on keeping the anthem is ridiculous and unnecessary. Cuban tried to free us and the league from the pointless gesture but the NBA couldn’t see the bigger picture. .

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O, say, can you see Mark Cuban’s point? No one even noticed lack of national anthem, so let it go


Mark Cuban gave fans two minutes back and no one noticed.Image: APSomehow it escaped most everyone’s attention for 13 home games that the Dallas Mavericks weren’t playing the national anthem before any of them, which pretty much tells you how important the tradition actually was in the first place. The Mavs hadn’t been allowing fans into the arena until Monday’s game, so there wasn’t really much point in playing it anyway. And seeing as how no one really noticed, Cuban has decided to eschew the practice altogether.The initial fear, and really the only one, is that scrapping the anthem from before games is an easy out. To avoid the controversy of players kneeling or not, fans’ reaction to it or non-reactions to it, is to simply remove the point of conflict. And maybe that’s to be considered, as Rob Parker wrote back in June. But there are plenty of other ways, and plenty of more meaningful ones, to protest and get your message out. The anthem before every game has always felt jingoistic and overdone. We’re the only country that does it. You’ll see it before big events, like Cup finals in soccer in other countries or games that involve actual national teams. And there it makes sense, either as celebration or a symbol of the actual participants. But before every game? Why? They don’t play it before movies, or plays, or concerts. Those are all public gatherings. There are times when it serves a purpose, and perhaps on the 4th of July and some other days, as well as the beginning of championship series or games, it could be played, but other than that, what would we really be losing? We shouldn’t have to stand and wait around for two minutes to prove love of country. And if you do, then the relationship with country is probably pretty fractured. Both individual and nation will survive without it. The fact that it took six weeks before anyone noticed in Dallas pretty much tells you that. This country has always confused shouting “patriotism” with actual patriotism. The playing of the anthem before every game was and is just a show, essentially an empty gesture now. We can move on and find other ways to define who we are. G/O Media may get a commissionOn the actual floor last night, the hottest team on the planet continued their supernova act as the Utah Jazz got their 16th win in 17 games with a 122-108 win over the Celtics.The Jazz do what they do, going Smash TV in their shooting without a conscience from beyond the arc, hurling up 48 attempts and making 18, which is below their usual average of 41%. Donovan Mitchell went for 36 while Joe Ingles chipped in 24. The Jazz opened it up in the third when they dropped 42 points, and though the C’s got within six at one point in the fourth, the gap was just a little too much, especially on a night when Jayson Tatum was something of a wayward 7-for-20 from the field. The win kept the Jazz atop the West standings, and they did it without Mike Conley (though the Celtics were without Marcus Smart), They’ll see the Bucks, Sixers, Clippers (twice), and Lakers in the next seven. They’ll be the show to watch over the next little while. The real winner though, was Mike Conley’s look on the sidelines.I once joked to an ex who complained about my habit of wearing hoodies all the time that if it came to it, and the occasion called for it, I could produce a dress hoodie. I didn’t think there actually would be one. That thing can go from the club to a pajama party to a red carpet to the gym. Simply in awe. More shenanigans from the NBA, as here’s Jimmy Butler going the full Rivaldo 2002: .

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Kyle Lowry’s potential trade destinations if/when Raptors decide it’s ‘time to move on’


Image: Getty ImagesLowry, the Philadelphia native, the Villanova alum, returns home. The Sixers are currently first in the Eastern Conference with a 17-7 record in the Doc Rivers and Daryl Morey era, but no one NBA team has a stranglehold on this oddity of a season thus far. Joel Embiid has looked like an MVP frontrunner, Tobias Harris should command All-Star consideration at the absolute minimum, and Ben Simmons, for better or worse, still looks like the same guy he was as a rookie. While the team’s playmaking could improve, Simmons is averaging his usual 8.0 assists per game, but as great as Embiid has been, working with Lowry would decrease his offensive workload, give the Sixers someone who could create a shot in the game’s final two minutes, and give the roster a leader it needs. What people forget about the Embiid and Simmons pairing is that they were at their best in 2018-19 when Jimmy Butler was present to carry the load. You could see the semifinal stats against the Raptors that season for yourselves. Lowry could have a similar impact, and it appears that Embiid may be ready to shoulder the responsibility, but a true point guard (who is willing to shoot from the outside) would help. It will matter come playoff time, and Lowry is a proven champion. Regarding an actual deal, the Sixers have several expirings, most notably Danny Green’s $15.4 million. They have several young pieces, led by Matisse Thybulle, Tyrese Maxey, and Shake Milton, who are all making less than $3 million each this season, and they have most of their first-round picks going forward, which were discussed in the Harden deal before he went to Brooklyn. They also have Ben Simmons at nearly $30 million, and he’s maxed out through 2025. Again, just saying. .

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