Sevyn Streeter Not Allowed To Sing National Anthem At 76ers Game Because Of “We Matter” Jersey
Singer Sevyn Streeter was scheduled to perform the national anthem prior to the Philadelphia 76ers home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. And during her performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Streeter planned to make a strong statement. She wanted to wear a jersey that said “We Matter” on the front of it. However, the 76ers told her that she couldn’t wear it, and after she refused to change into a different shirt for her performance, the team ultimately decided to pull the plug and tell her that she wasn’t going to be allowed to sing. She posted this on Twitter a short time later:
— Sevyn (@sevyn) October 27, 2016
Sevyn Streeter also spoke with ESPN and revealed how the situation played out behind the scenes. “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 said. “I was never given any kind of dress code. I was never asked beforehand to show my wardrobe.”
The Sixers turned to one of their team’s cheerleaders to sing the national anthem, and she did a nice job with it. But now, both the Sixers and the NBA are under fire for not allowing Sevyn Streeter to put on the performance she was planning. Both organizations have declined to comment publicly on why the singer’s performance was canceled last minute, but the Sixers did release a short statement about it. “The Philadelphia 76ers organization encourages meaningful actions to drive social change,” the statement said. “We use our games to bring people together, to build trust, and to strength our communities. As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community.”
Sevyn Streeter isn’t buying it. She told ESPN that she was “angry, extremely, extremely angry” about the way the Sixers handled her performance and said she was “really looking forward” to it. And while the Sixers were probably wary of allowing her to perform after watching a woman sing the national anthem on one knee while wearing a “Black Lives Matter” shirt prior to a preseason game against the Heat earlier this month, it’s hard to blame her for being upset. Especially since the Sixers haven’t really offered up a good explanation as to why they canceled her performance.
Do you think she should have been allowed to sing the national anthem at the Thunder/76ers game—or do the 76ers have a right to cancel a performance if they suspect a singer might try to make a statement during it?