Singer and songwriter Sevyn Streeter took to her Instagram Wednesday, Oct. 26 after the Philadelphia 76ers allegedly told her not to sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” because of her politically charged attire.
Streeter was shocked by the denial telling her followers in the short 10-second clip that she was not permitted to sing because she was wearing a “We Matter” jersey. “I’m at the 76ers game to sing the national anthem and the organization is saying that I can’t because I’m wearing a ‘We Matter’ jersey.”
In all likelihood, the NBA organization wanted to avoid a similar incident when a singer knelt during the national anthem at the Sacramento Kings preseason opener.
Streeter was scheduled to sing at the season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, she was pulled to the side just moments before her big performance. Streeter told The Associated Press Wednesday evening about what happened in those moments.
“I’d say two minutes before we were about to walk out,” Streeter recalled. “… 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.”
After the fiasco, the organization released a statement distancing themselves from the public backlash.
“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.”
Ultimately, Jemila Worley, a Sixers dance team member, performed the national anthem at the last moment.