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76ers apologize for cancelling anthem performance by Sevyn Streeter

Sevyn Streeter attends the 2016 Billboard Power 100 Celebration at Bouchon Beverly Hills on Feb. 12, 2016 in Beverly Hills. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

The Philadelphia 76ers issued an apology Friday afternoon for the cancellation of a national anthem performance from R&B singer Sevyn Streeter for the team’s home opener Wednesday night.

“We are sorry that this happened,” the team said in the 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.”

According to Streeter, she was told by the Sixers organization just minutes before her scheduled performance that she would not be able to sing the anthem due to the “We Matter” jersey she was wearing. “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,” Streeter said. “I was never given any kind of dress code. I was never asked beforehand to show my wardrobe.”

On the late notice, the anthem was performed by Jemila Worley, a member of the Sixers’ dance team. According to ESPN, Sixers players expressed their disappointment with the organization’s decision in a meeting with organization representatives at practice the following morning.

Perhaps most notable in the apology is that they have invited Streeter to perform at a future game. While the initial decision was a questionable one, it is refreshing that the Sixers have apparently changed their minds and are open to welcoming Streeter’s message.

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