SAQUAN STIMPSON/SPECIAL TO THE NEWS JOURNAL
The organization told the singer she could not perform the National Anthem while wearing a "We Matter" jersey, nixing the singer's Wednesday night performance.
The Philadelphia 76ers issued an apology after the organization caused quite a stir when Sevyn Streeter‘s National Anthem performance was nixed because of the singer’s “We Matter” jersey.
“We are sorry that this happened. After receiving feedback from our players, basketball operations staff and ownership group, we believe that the wrong decision was made, and Sevyn should have been welcomed to sing. We apologize to her, and in an effort to move the conversation forward, we have reached out to offer her an opportunity to return and perform at a game of her choice. We are waiting to hear back,” the team said in a statement.
Streeter was scheduled to sing Wednesday during the team’s season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but minutes before she was set to perform, the organization pulled the plug, telling her she could not wear the “We Matter” jersey.
“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. Honestly, I was very excited about being able to perform the national anthem. I was really looking forward to that,” she told reporters.
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Players were informed of the incident during a team meeting Thursday, which the team and organizers discussed at length. Guard Gerald Henderson said, “I didn’t think it was right. We talked about it and collectively we thought that was the best decision [to let her sing in the future]. We felt like she should have been able to sing, and for whatever reasons, that didn’t happen. I think it is a good idea to reach out to her, and hopefully she can come back and sing her song.”
Following the initial decision to cut Streeter’s performance – the anthem was instead sung by a Sixers dancer – the organization issued a statement, saying, “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.”
Henderson added, “She wanted to wear a T-shirt that she felt was important. I don’t know if telling her that she couldn’t sing was saying that her statement was unimportant. But she should be able to do what she chooses and that is why we are going to call her back.”
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