76ers apologize to national anthem singer after jersey controversy
The Philadelphia 76ers issued an apology Friday to singer Sevyn Streeter, whom the team prevented from singing the national anthem before a game this week when she wore a jersey that read "We Matter."
"We are sorry that this happened," the team said in a statement. "After receiving feedback from our players, basketball operations staff and ownership group, we believe that the wrong decision was made, and that Sevyn should have been welcomed to sing."
The Sixers also said they have reached out to Streeter and offered her a chance to perform at a future home game of her choice.
The apology comes after Streeter was told by Sixers officials that she could not sing before the team's season opener against the Thunder on Wednesday night because of her wardrobe choice. A member of the Sixers' dance team sang the anthem instead.
Streeter reacted to the Sixers' decision in a video she posted to Twitter Wednesday night.
Anthem protests have become widespread across different sports this fall. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started the movement, and other NFL players have received national attention for kneeling or raising a fist during the national anthem this season in order to protest police brutality and racial injustice.
NBA players have also made recent demonstrations, with several teams deciding to join arms in solidarity while the anthem is played. During the preseason, anthem singers for the Kings and Heat kneeled during their performances, with the latter wearing a "Black Lives Matter" t-shirt.
- Ryan Fish