AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Senate passed a bill Thursday that would require the playing of the national anthem at professional sporting events in venues funded by taxpayers.
The bill, known as the Star-Spangled Banner Protection Act, was introduced by Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, and was supported by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
According to the bill, any pro sports team in Texas must play the national anthem prior to their events. Failure to do this would be considered a default on an agreement between the teams and government entities, which would lead to monetary penalties, the bill stated.
Patrick released a statement on the passing of the bill:
“Sports bring us together at a time when too many things divide us. Congratulations to Sen. Buckingham and the Texas Senate for their support of this important piece of legislation. Texans are tired of sports teams that pander, insulting our national anthem and the men and women who died fighting for our flag. The passage of SB 4 will ensure Texans can count on hearing the Star Spangled Banner at major sports events throughout the state that are played in venues that taxpayers support. We must always remember that America is the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
The bill was brought forth after it was learned in February that Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks were not playing the national anthem before their home games during the 2020-2021 regular season. The NBA released a statement that said all teams would play the anthem “in keeping with longstanding league policy.”