Sun, Oct 30, 2016 - Page 11 News List

Philadelphia apologize for singer snub

AFP, WASHINGTON

The Philadelphia 76ers on Friday offered an apology to singer Sevyn Streeter after barring her from performing the US national anthem at Wednesday’s season opener over her “We Matter” jersey — a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We are sorry that this happened,” the NBA team said in a statement on Friday.

“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,” the team said. “We apologize to her, and in an effort to move the conversation forward, we have reached out to her to offer her an opportunity to return and perform at a game of her choice. We are waiting to hear back.”

Streeter had tweeted on Wednesday night that the team booted her from the performance minutes before she was set to sing.

“Was suppose to sing the anthem at @sixers & @okcthunder game but mins b4 @sixers said I couldn’t because I was wearing a “We Matter” jersey,” she posted.

The “We Matter” phrase refers to the Black Lives Matter movement that has sprung up in protest of the deaths of black men at the hands of police.

The traditional playing of The Star Spangled Banner before US sports events has become a controversial focus of protests over racial inequality and police brutality since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand for the anthem.

He has been joined by a scattering of other NFL players and some players in other leagues. An anthem singer at an NBA pre-season game in Miami knelt while performing.

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