Sixers apologize to singer for not letting her sing anthem

The Philadelphia 76ers have apologized to singer/songwriter Sevyn Streeter for not allowing her to sing the national anthem on opening night because she was wearing a shirt that read "We Matter".

“We are sorry that this happened," the team said in a 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.  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, an R&B singer and songwriter, told The Associated Press late Wednesday she was told she would not sing just minutes before her performance.

"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."

To replace Streeter, the Sixers had a member of their dance team sing the anthem.

Streeter has written songs for Chris Brown, Ariana Grande and other stars. In 2013, she had a Top 40 hit with "It Won't Stop," a duet with Brown that reached RIAA gold status.

The singer, born Amber Denise Streeter, said she was hurt by the NBA team's actions.

"I was angry, extremely, extremely angry and disappointed and honestly brought to tears by all of it. It broke my heart," she said. "Honestly, I was very excited about being able to perform the national anthem. I was really looking forward to that."

USA TODAY


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