It was a major story this past October when R&B singer Sevyn Streeter was barred from singing the national anthem during a Philadelphia 76ers game. But after months of controversy, the 76ers and Streeter finally made peace and this weekend Streeter finally got to perform in her so-called controversial jersey. And in recent interviews, Streeter opened up about how it felt to be venerated and be able to perform for the fans.
As previously reported, back when the 76ers first banned Streeter from singing the national anthem, she was in tears as she vented on social media about being replaced because of her jersey. After the 76ers received a backlash from some fans over the decision to cancel Streeter’s performance, they apologized publicly to Streeter.
“We are sorry that this happened,” the 76ers wrote 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.”
True to their word, Streeter was invited to come back to sing the national anthem this past Friday. Before the performance, Streeter explained how happy she was to have the freedom to perform and wear her “We Matter” jersey.
“I’m really excited,” said Streeter. “I’m feeling great. I’m happy that we were able to turn an unfortunate situation into something positive. I’m singing the anthem tonight. I’m wearing my ‘We Matter’ jersey. I was just able to play with kids from the Boys & Girls Club … I feel awesome.”
After her performance, Streeter spoke with The Jasmine Brand and explained that the 76ers already knew that she would be wearing her “We Matter” jersey again. She also explained why it was important for her to make a statement about the lives of Black people in the face of America’s overt racism during her performance.
“I love my country. I want to say that, but I want it to be better for everyone. That’s what this jersey means to me. Last night made me really happy. I have to thank the 76ers players for being a strong advocate in my return,” Streeter said.
What do you think of Streeter’s performance and the 76ers decision to allow her to wear the jersey? Let us know in the comments.