76ers apol­o­gize for can­cel­ing ‘We Mat­ter’ an­them singer

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Dan Gelston

PHILADEL­PHIA >> The Philadel­phia 76ers apol­o­gized Fri­day for can­cel­ing the na­tional an­them per­for­mance of a singer wear­ing a “We Mat­ter” jer­sey.

The 76ers back­tracked from their orig­i­nal stance when they told R&B singer Sevyn Streeter she could not per­form the an­them be­fore Wed­nes­day night’s sea­son opener be­cause of the shirt’s slo­gan.

“We are sorry that this hap­pened,” the Six­ers said in a Fri­day 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.”

A per­son fa­mil­iar with the de­ci­sion to in­vite Streeter back said she would be al­lowed to wear her “We Mat­ter” jer­sey if she de­cided to sing. The per­son spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity Fri­day be­cause the Six­ers had not an­nounced the de­tail pub­licly.

Streeter could not im­me­di­ately be reached for com­ment.

Streeter said in an in­ter­view with 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,” the R&B singer said by phone. “I was never given any kind of dress code. I was never asked be­fore­hand to show my wardrobe.”

The Six­ers play­ers met Thurs­day and were con­sid­er­ing whether to re­spond to Streeter’s can­cel­la­tion.

“Ev­ery­body ex­pressed their emo­tions about it,” for­ward Robert Cov­ing­ton said. “We want to take steps about it. We just don’t know ex­actly what steps we want to take. We talked about a lot of dif­fer­ent things.”

The Six­ers play at home Satur­day against At­lanta.

SEVYN STREETER — AT­LANTIC RECORDS VIA AP

Philadel­phia 76ers na­tional an­them singer Streeter said she was told by the team she could not per­form be­cause of her “We Mat­ter” jer­sey.

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