Friday the Philadelphia 76ers apologized to soloist Sevyn Streeter for canceling her singing of “The Star Spangled Banner” at their home opener for wearing a “We Matter” t-shirt.
The club re-invited Streeter to come back to sing the national anthem saying that they were “sorry that this happened.” Wearing a shirt that said “We matter,” the singer told the Associated Press that the team axed her performance just moments before she was about to sing.
According to the NBA official website, the Sixers released a statement Friday which said:
“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.”
Streeter explained to the AP in a phone interview, ”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.’’ She complained that she was never given a specific dress code, nor asked to show her wardrobe before her performance.
ESPN reported that on-court entertainers must sign a contract which is subject to cancellation if the 76ers deem that the performance does not meet the standards described in the agreement.
Streeter admitted the entire episode has been disturbing and tweeted Wednesday night:
— Sevyn (@sevyn) October 27, 2016
She has since expressed that she “was angry — extremely, extremely angry — and disappointed and honestly brought to tears by all of it. It broke my heart.’’ Streeter asserted that she was “very excited about being able to perform the national anthem. I was really looking forward to that.”
The singer-songwriter joins protesters such as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Collin Kaepernick and national anthem singer Denasia Lawrence in using the anthem as a platform to express their dissatisfaction with America.
Streeter said that ”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.” She added, “Yes, we live in the greatest country in the world, but there are issues that we cannot ignore. This can’t be ignored.”