76ers players hold team meeting over anthem singer controversy
The Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday held a team meeting to address the controversy related to how Sevyn Streeter was prevented from performing the national anthem before Wednesday’s game at Wells Fargo Center.
Sixers forward Robert Covington revealed the team discussed what sort of response was warranted to the abrupt cancellation of Streeter’s anthem performance, if any.
“Everybody expressed their emotions about it,” he said, via the New York Post. “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.”
Streeter reportedly was told “about two minutes before we were about to walk out” for her anthem performance that she would not be allowed to do it because of her “We Matter” jersey. This left the singer “angry, extremely, extremely angry and disappointed.” Streeter also indicated in an interview with The Associated Press she wasn’t informed of any dress code ahead of time.
The Sixers released a statement concerning the controversy but it didn’t go into detail exactly why Streeter wasn’t allowed to perform, saying the organization “encourages meaningful actions to drive social change” but is trying to “move from symbolic gestures to action.” The statement indicated the 76ers “will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community.”
Sixers head coach Brett Brown left the issue unresolved as to how the players will proceed as a team.
“We understand the situation and we respect the social issue involved,” he said. “We completely get it. As a group, we will try to find a way to deal with this.”
Streeter has since defended herself and the decision to wear the “We Matter” jersey, saying she felt it “was important to express the ongoing challenges and ongoing injustice we face as a black community within the United States of America.”
Sixers management reportedly declined comment on Thursday beyond the issued statement.