Cuban now says the Mavericks had never officially cancelled the national anthem

Responding to reports that he had decided the Mavericks would stop playing the national anthem at home games, billionaire owner Mark Cuban now says it was never decided.

Cuban told ESPN they were talking about whether or not to play it but says that “we probably would have ended up playing it at some point when fans came back.”

The NBA said in a statement Wednesday “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.”

Cuban said in a statement the same day “we respect and always have respected the passions 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,” he added.

The Mavericks played the national anthem before today’s game and the players appeared to stand.