Chris Brown refused to rise for the national anthem after singer Tank urged attendees to stand in honor of 9/11 victims Sunday. During the annual Power 106 Celebrity Basketball Game, which Brown participated in, a video showed the star watching as others rose for the American tune.
“I understand people are exercising their right to stand or to sit, and exercising their right to freedom of justice,” Tank said in the video obtained by TMZ. “But in the wake of 9/11, please understand and respect the fact that real men and women and children lost their lives for this very thing that we’re here to stand for today.”
Brown and three other players sat along the court as Tank belted the “Star-Spangled Banner” at USC Galen Center in Los Angeles. The frequently troubled star laughed and talked to a teammate throughout. But by the end of the tune, Brown stood up with the help of a fellow player. He nodded and applauded at the song’s last lyric, giving Tank his seal of approval.
Brown’s refusal to stand follows football quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the U.S. song that began last month. Since then, many other NFL stars followed suit, including Kaepernick’s teammate Eric Reid and Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall.
Like the many athletes who protested, Brown’s move was not well received online.
Ximena Gonzalez called the singer a “disgusting piece of s—” for his actions.
The fact that Chris Brown chose to sit down for the national anthem on SEPTEMBER 11..You are a disgusting piece of shit.
— Ximena Gonzalez (@xgonzalez92) September 12, 2016
Calvin from Publix took a dig on Brown’s 2009 assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna.
Breaking news: Chris Brown didn't stand for anthem yesterday. Possible fatigue from beating his girlfriend still in question.
— T A R Z A N (@calvinnnn17) September 12, 2016
Still, Brown had support from a fan.
— T R I P O L A R ❤️ (@LaShonda_CMB) September 12, 2016
Chris Breezy did not seem fazed by the controversy. He quickly responded on Instagram with a brief message: “stay classy!”
Three hours later he posted a photo of him during the game, leaning back a la The Matrix.
Watch the video of Brown’s refusal to stand below.