Philadelphia 76ers Apologize for Not Letting Sevyn Streeter Sing National Anthem, Invite Her Back
"We have reached out to offer her an opportunity to return and perform at a game of her choice."
After receiving a great deal of blowback for their decision not to let R&B singer-songwriter Sevyn Streeter perform the National Anthem before their home opener on Wednesday (Oct. 26) -- due to her wearing a jersey bearing the slogan "We Matter" -- the Philadelphia 76ers have acknowledged the error of their ways.
"We are sorry that this happened," the team writes in an official press statement. "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 Sixers also offer to make it up to Streeter: "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.”
Streeter had been replaced with a backup National Anthem singer before the Sixers' game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, and tweeted a video explaining that the jersey was the reason for her removal. The 76ers' first statement in response to the controversy supported their initial decision, explaining: "We use our games to bring people together, to build trust and to strengthen our communities. As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community."
However, their decision continued to draw criticism from fans and from players. Billboard reported yesterday that 76ers players had met at their practice facility in Camden, New Jersey, to discuss whether or not they would respond to Streeter's cancelation.