The Philadelphia 76ers formally apologized Friday to a singer who was yanked at the last minute from performing the national anthem over her shirt.
“We are sorry that this happened,” the 76ers team organization said Friday about pulling Sevyn Streeter from performing at the home opener over her “We Matter” shirt.
“After receiving feedback from ourplayers,basketball operations staffandownership group, we believe that the wrong decision was made, and Sevyn should have been welcomed to sing,” the team’s statement continued. “We apologize to her, and in an effort to move the conversation forward, we have reached out tooffer her an opportunity to return and perform at a game of her choice. We are waiting to hear back.”
After Sevyn was told she couldn’t perform, she immediately took to social media to complain. A brief video she posted on Twitter went viral during a Sixers home opener noted for several chaotic moments.
— Sevyn (@sevyn) October 27, 2016
Writer Shaun King blasted the team in a piece for the New York Daily News, writing that the team displayed “severe ignorance” and was motivated by “cowardice.” He called their original response to the incident, which did not include an apology, “about the dumbest statement possible.”
That original statement released as the story broke said: “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. As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community.”
The decision to pull Sevyn sparked the outrage of Asa Khalif, an activist and president of the Pennsylvania chapter of Black Lives Matter.
“Shame on the 76ers, period,” Khalif told CBS3. “She did not have a Black Lives Matter shirt on. She had a ‘we matter’ T-shirt and the 76ers took that as being associated with Black Lives Matter movement and for the most part, they’re a bunch of cowards and got rid of her.”
Sevyn did not immediately respond to the apology or invitation to come back to perform again.