Sevyn Streeter was slated to perform the national anthem Wednesday night (Oct 26), ahead of the Philadelphia 76er’s season debut against the Oklahoma City Thunder. There was a change of plans at the Wells Fargo Center when the Sixers management got wind of Streeter’s attire. They reportedly took issue with the R&B singer’s shirt, which read ‘We Matter’ in support of the black lives matter movement.
The 30-year-old addressed the incident when speaking to 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 was angry, extremely, extremely angry, and disappointed and honestly brought to tears by all of it. It broke my heart,” she said. “Honestly, I was very excited about being able to perform the national anthem. I was really looking forward to that.”
Sevyn Streeter was told by 76ers organization she couldn’t sing national anthem because of her “We Matter” jersey pic.twitter.com/FoU5CDqgS1
— Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) October 27, 2016
The Sixers organization released a confusing statement reading, “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.”
This isn’t the first incident surrounding the national anthem for the NBA, singers Leah Tysse and Denasia Lawrence made headlines earlier this month, when they got on a knee while performing the anthem.
Sevyn Streeter couldn’t perform the national anthem at the 76ers game bcus she wore a jersey that said “We Matter” pic.twitter.com/xnLwwQwqbR
— Cierra. (@_thibeaux) October 27, 2016
“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,” said the Florida born artist. “Yes, we live in the greatest country in the world, but there are issues that we cannot ignore. This can’t be ignored.”