R&B singer Sevyn Streeter was supposed to perform the national anthem prior to the Philadelphia 76ers season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. But a member of the 76ers dance team performed the song instead.
Where was Streeter? Backstage recording this video:
Streeter told the Associated Press that, two minutes prior to her performance, the 76ers told her that her jersey, which simply states “We Matter,” would have to go.
“I was angry, extremely, extremely angry and disappointed and honestly brought to tears by all of it. It broke my heart,” Streeter told the AP. “Honestly, I was very excited about being able to perform the national anthem. I was really looking forward to that.”
There have been multiple protests during the national anthem at sporting events this year, including one at a preseason 76ers game in Miami. But wearing a shirt that says “We Matter” is less a protest and more of just a statement of basic human rights. What’s the problem?
The 76ers would not say why Streeter’s performance was canceled and instead released a statement that didn’t really say anything.
“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,” the 76ers message stated.
Who can think of a more divisive message than “We Matter.”