Singer Not Allowed to Perform Anthem at 76ers Opener Because of “We Matter” Jersey (Pic + Video)
Let it be known that the Philadelphia 76ers do not want anything to do with the wave of national anthem protests currently stealing headlines across pro sports. On Wednesday night the team told the woman they had booked to sing the anthem that her performance was cancelled because she was wearing a jersey with the words “We Matter” on the front.
The 76ers had booked Orlando native singer/songwriter Sevyn Streeter to sing the national anthem at Wednesday night’s season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The team was even promoting the performance with a social media contest.
— Sevyn (@sevyn) October 26, 2016
However, Sevyn did not end up performing the Anthem. Minutes after the game had started, she posted a video on Twitter explaining that the team had cancelled her performance because of her shirt.
Take a look:
— Sevyn (@sevyn) October 27, 2016
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.
Basically, what they’re saying is that, while they support actions to bring about social change, they don’t want their games to be controversial.
For all we know, the team had expressly stated that no political messages would be allowed during the performance of the national anthem. And even if they did not, it is certainly within their rights to limit potentially controversial expressions of speech in their building as they see fit.
Of course, there were a lot of white men whose relatives were never held as property or made to sit at the back of the bus who were very pleased with the Sixers’ decision.
— Deplorable Jude (@ChristoPetty) October 27, 2016
— Philip C. Wahlbom (@pwahlbom) October 27, 2016
— Kevin Going (@kevingoing) October 27, 2016
— Terrence Barrett (@tbarrett644) October 27, 2016
On the bright side, Joel Embiid made it through his NBA debut without shattering any bones. So that’s something.
Hat Tip – [Action 6 News]