Philadelphia 76ers Cancel Sevyn’s National Anthem Performance Due To “We Matter” Jersey

In Archive by Crissonna Tennison

Singer Sevyn Streeter, who was scheduled to perform the National Anthem at the Philadelphia 76ers game opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, was denied the chance to perform because she was wearing a jersey with the words “We Matter” on the front.

“We Matter” is a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, and reflects the struggles many African-Americans face to honor their country while acknowledging their serious on-going persecution by police officers and other public officials.

Sources close to the 76ers claim that performers are required to sign a contract banning political statements, and that Sevyn refused an opportunity to change her outfit.

In an official statement, the Sixers explained that they are “mov[ing] from symbolic gestures to action.” This sentiment reflects earlier comments made by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who claims that the time has come for “substantive actions,” specifically on the part of high-profile players such as LeBron James and Chris Paul, who have already “put themselves in a leadership position.” No comments were made on what this “action” would entail, or why it is mutually exclusive from political statements.