Singer not allowed by 76ers to sing the National Anthem
During the singing of the national anthem in the Philadelphia 76ers‘ season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, a team’s dancer replaced the singer originally scheduled to perform.
Sevyn Streeter was supposed to sing the Star Spangled Banner but was informed that she will be replaced only minutes before her performance mainly because of the jersey she was wearing that has “We Matter” written on it. She discussed how she was told about it in an interview with Dan Gelston and Mesfin Fekadu of the Associated Press:
“I’d say two minutes before we were about to walk out … the organization told me that I could not wear my shirt while singing the national anthem at their game, I was never given any kind of dress code. I was never asked beforehand to show my wardrobe.”
“I also felt it was important to express the ongoing challenges and ongoing injustice we face as a black community within the United States of America — that’s very important to me. Yes, we live in the greatest country in the world, but there are issues that we cannot ignore. This can’t be ignored.”
The singer/songwriter also took to Twitter and shared her dismay over what transpired earlier that evening.
— Sevyn (@sevyn) October 27, 2016
The changes that were made prior to the national anthem were quite noticeable and even Sixers’ guard Gerald Henderson knew that something odd was going on.
“I saw the little pause there … I was wondering, something had crossed my mind like, ‘What’s going on? Did something happen?” That was pretty big time for a cheerleader to step in there, and she killed it!”
“There’s a lot going on man. People care about these things that are happening, as well as they should. And they are going to express themselves in different ways … . People are trying to make statements, I guess.”
The team neither confirmed nor denied Streeter’s claim on the statement they released through the Sixers’ PR.
“The Philadelphia 76ers organization encourages meaningful actions to drive social change. We use our games to bring people together, to build trust and to strengthen our communities. As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community.”