R&B singer Sevyn Streeter is calling foul on the Philadelphia 76ers organization for benching her before singing the national anthem at their home opener last night.
In a Twitter video, the singer says that she was told by 76ers brass that she couldn’t wear her “We Matter” jersey while performing.
— Sevyn (@sevyn) October 27, 2016
In an interview with the Associated Press, Streeter gave more details.
“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.”
This is especially troubling because one, the shirt simply says “We Matter.” It didn’t say “Black Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter,” just “We.” Who was the 76ers organization afraid of offending, “them” and “they?
Two, with African-American players accounting for more than 90 percent of the NBA’s rosters, how could a team be against a message like this?
So far this season, national anthem singers have taken bolder stances than the players themselves. One singer at a Sacramento Kings preseason game took a knee at the end of the anthem, while another sang the entire song on one knee at a Miami Heat game last week. NBA players have opted to stand with interlocking arms as their sign of “protest.”