The politician who championed the “lavatory invoice” within the Texas Legislature in 2017 is now singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick unfurled the primary of his precedence payments this week, in response to information that the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks had stopped taking part in the nationwide anthem earlier than dwelling video games.
That went on for 13 video games earlier than anybody observed, in keeping with The Athletic. However after they observed, they actually observed. The information traveled all the way in which to the lieutenant governor, and earlier than you possibly can say “daybreak’s early mild,” he had proposed the “Star Spangled Banner Safety Act.”
It hasn’t been filed but, however it will require the taking part in of the anthem in any respect occasions that obtain public funding. Presumably, that would come with classes of the Home and Senate, which begin with prayers, and pledges to the U.S. and Texas flags, however no anthem.
“It’s arduous to consider this might occur in Texas, however Mark Cuban’s actions of yesterday made it clear that we should specify that in Texas we play the nationwide anthem earlier than all main occasions,” Patrick stated in a information launch. “On this time when so many issues divide us, sports activities are one factor that convey us collectively — proper, left, Black, white and brown.”
Cuban is the proprietor of the Mavericks.
“We respect and all the time have revered the eagerness folks have for the anthem and our nation,” Cuban tweeted. “However we additionally loudly hear the voices of those that really feel that the anthem doesn’t characterize them. We really feel that their voices must be revered and heard, as a result of they haven’t been. Going ahead, our hope is that individuals will take the identical ardour they’ve for this problem and apply the identical quantity of power to take heed to those that really feel in another way from them.”
The issue, so far as skilled basketball is anxious, has already been solved. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated Wednesday that the league’s groups will likely be required to play the nationwide anthem earlier than every recreation.
That was after Patrick had an opportunity to tweet that Cuban’s choice was “a slap within the face to each American & a humiliation to Texas. Promote the franchise & some Texas Patriots will purchase it. We ARE the land of free & the house of the courageous.”
The state’s tradition wars are again, led by their most outstanding warrior. In 2017, Patrick led the unsuccessful, session-dominating effort to forestall transgender Texans from utilizing restrooms and different public services that match their gender. It was a divisive struggle that fired up voters and activists who have been variously delighted and outraged on the proposal. And it established the understated theme for the 2019 legislative session that adopted: “We’re not messing with issues like the toilet invoice this time.”
That’s all behind us now. Whereas it’s coping with a pandemic, financial troubles, police habits and funding, election and voting legal guidelines, and all the remaining, the Texas Legislature can also be going to debate regulating the taking part in of the nationwide anthem.
Patrick has stored his lure shut for the primary month of the five-month common session, buttoning his lip concerning the recount of the 2020 votes for his pal, Donald Trump, staying out of the information across the siege of the U.S. Capitol and holding his silence as Gov. Greg Abbott laid out his personal priorities for the present session.
The lieutenant governor poked his head up firstly of the legislative session to verify Republicans within the Senate can get issues accomplished with out Democratic assist when want be. However he has been uncharacteristically quiet.
Till, that’s, he turned conscious of the absence of the sound of music. He was already engaged on presenting a listing of laws he needs the Senate to work on, however jumped on the prospect of a tradition battle over the anthem and Cuban.
The person who introduced you the toilet invoice is again, beginning the sport with a name for all to rise for the taking part in of the nation’s struggle tune.
Ross Ramsey is government editor and co-founder of the Texas Tribune, the place this column initially appeared.