The Philadelphia 76ers and singer Sevyn Streeter have come to a reasonable and much-appreciated conclusion in the wake of the unfortunate incident that prevented Streeter from performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a Sixers home game in October.
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Streeter showed up for the performance at Wells Fargo Center wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “We Matter,” in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, echoing recent protests made by a pair of other national anthem singers at recent NBA games.
The 76ers asked Streeter not to perform, citing a clause in her contract prohibiting her from making political statements via her rendition. After national outcry, the Sixers apologized.
On Saturday, the two came to an agreement that will end with Streeter signing the anthem at a game on December 16. While wearing her “We Matter” jersey:
“After thoughtful conversation, the 76ers and Sevyn Streeter have worked together to develop a plan we hope will bring meaningful action in the Philadelphia Community,”
“I have accepted their apology,” Streeter said. “In order to move forward, it was important to me that we take action and use this as an opportunity to create positive change and dialogue throughout the community.”
She said she and the team plan to “work together through multiple community outreach programs to promote inclusion and acceptance.”
The Sixers said they plan to make a donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia.
If you missed on the first go-round, here is Streeter’s Twitter and Instagram message to her followers in the wake of the missed opportunity on Oct. 26, Philadelphia’s opening game of the 2016-17 season:
— Sevyn (@sevyn) October 27, 2016
In my own city…. My hometown WOULD NOT allow my client @sevyn to sing the national anthem for the #76ers first home game. She flew out here just to sing. I walked into the stadium to hear her voice bellow throughout as she did her test run and was proud that my city chose her….She never got to sing though…all because she wore a jersey that she had made reading #WeMatter…. They told her to change it or she couldn't sing… I'm dumbfounded #Philly…. You really broke our hearts tonight????
A video posted by Tatiana Ward (@beatfacehoney) on Oct 26, 2016 at 5:46pm PDT
Following the outcry, Miami Heat forward and since-traded Sixers forward Jerami Grant also sent social media support Streeter’s way:
— Justise Winslow (@IAmJustise) October 28, 2016
Just two days after the stopped “Star-Spangled Banner,” the 76ers released a caveat-free apology:
“We are sorry that this happened. 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. We apologize to her, and in an effort to move the conversation forward, we have reached out to offer her an opportunity to return and perform at a game of her choice. We are waiting to hear back.”
They’ve now heard back. And, finally, 76ers will have the chance to hear Sevyn Streeter work as she was scheduled to work, making a statement that was thankfully made all the more forceful and prominent due to the team’s initial misstep.
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