Sixers apologize for stopping Sevyn Streeter’s national anthem performance

“We have reached out to offer her an opportunity to return and perform,” the team said.

Sevyn Streeter.

Sevyn Streeter.

Atlantic Records

The Philadelphia 76ers apologized Friday for stopping a performance by singer Sevyn Streeter, who was set to sing the National Anthem Wednesday evening wearing a “We Matter” jersey before the team pulled the plug.

The text of the statement reads:

“We are sorry that this happened. 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.”

We reached out to Streeter for comment.

Tatiana Ward, a celebrity makeup artist with local roots who goes by the name Beat Face Honey, told Billy Penn about the exchange she witnessed first hand between the performer and a Sixers team representative. Ward said Streeter and her team were ready and excited to perform before they were told no.

“I walked into the arena hearing her amazing voice bellowing through the Wells Fargo. And I was like oh I guess she’s here,” said Ward. “Who better because she’s a real vocalist. I just couldn’t wait for the crowd to hear it.”

After the soundcheck, Ward and Streeter discussed her look for the night.

“I asked her specifically, ‘Are you going kneel or anything?’ She said, ‘I’m not going to do that. My shirt says it all.’”


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Chris Krewson is the executive director of LION Publishers, a national nonprofit association that serves local journalism entrepreneurs build sustainable news organizations, and the founding editor of Billy Penn. He lives in Havertown.