After Mavericks Controversy, ABC’s GMA Declares National Anthem Racist

After ABC’s Good Morning America initially ignored the controversy swirling around the decision by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to not play the national anthem before the NBC team’s games, on Thursday, the broadcast finally discovered the story and tried to justify the anti-American move by claiming The Star-Spangled Banner was racist.

“We’re gonna turn now to the NBA and the fallout after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stopped playing the national anthem before games,” co-host George Stephanopoulos announced. In the report that followed, correspondent T.J. Holmes lamented that the team had started playing the patriotic song again after “giving in to pressure from the NBA,” which had “cracked down after owner Mark Cuban decided to stop playing The Star-Spangled Banner at his team’s home games in November.”

 

 

A soundbite was featured of billionaire owner arguing: “There were quite a few people that voiced their concerns or really their fears that the national anthem did not fully represent them, that their voices were not being heard.”

After Holmes noted that the NBA ordered “all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy,” he wrapped up the segment by telling viewers The Star-Spangled Banner was racist:         

And debate over The Star-Spangled Banner is nothing new. Historians have argued that a third stanza, the one we don’t sing, actually has racist lyrics in it. And also, guys, have to remember, the author, Francis Scott Key, was in fact a holder of enslaved Africans.

On Wednesday, only CBS This Morning covered Cuban’s decision to ban the anthem, but didn’t seem to have a problem with it, calling the controversial decision “super interesting.” On Thursday, the CBS broadcast openly voiced support for the Mavericks owner supposedly trying to “raise a conversation and bring awareness to what many people believe is still an injustice in this country.”

NBC’s Today show has continued to ignore the controversy completely.

ABC hurling accusations of racism was brought to viewers by Lincoln and Purina. You can fight back by letting these advertisers know what you think of them sponsoring such content.

Here is a full transcript of the February 11 segment:

7:16 AM ET    

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re gonna turn now to the NBA and the fallout after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stopped playing the national anthem before games. T.J. Holmes is here with the details on the league’s new requirement for every team. Good morning, T.J.

T.J. HOLMES: Hey, good morning to you, George. We’ve seen players take a knee, put a fist in the air, not even come out of the locker room during the playing of the national anthem as a demonstration. Well, Mark Cuban decided his demonstration is to not play it at all. He hasn’t played it at any of the team’s games this year, nobody really took notice until now and the NBA took action.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: National Anthem Reversal; Mavs Resume Playing Song Before Games After NBA Crackdown]

A major reversal overnight for the Dallas Mavericks. The team played the national anthem, giving in to pressure from the NBA.

RICK CARLISLE [DALLAS MAVERICKS COACH]: It’s been quite a day.

HOLMES: The league cracked down after owner Mark Cuban decided to stop playing The Star-Spangled Banner at his team’s home games in November.

MARK CUBAN: There were quite a few people that voiced their concerns or really their fears that the national anthem did not fully represent them, that their voices were not being heard. And so we’ve had a lot of conversations about whether or not we should play the anthem.

HOLMES: But once fans returned and reporters took notice, the NBA demanded “all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy.”

RACHEL NICHOLS [ESPN HOST, THE JUMP]: The NBA would prefer that this doesn’t mushroom into the kind of issue it did for the NFL. The NBA has been very strong on civil rights issues, on social justice issues. Mark Cuban is one of the most outspoken brash owners in the NBA and his entire time owning the Dallas Mavericks has been about him challenging convention.

HOLMES: He says he will continue to play it. And debate over The Star-Spangled Banner is nothing new. Historians have argued that a third stanza, the one we don’t sing, actually has racist lyrics in it. And also, guys, have to remember, the author, Francis Scott Key, was in fact a holder of enslaved Africans, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, T.J., thanks very much.

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