The Sixers on Friday issued an apology to Sevyn Streeter, the artist who was supposed to perform the national anthem before Wednesday night's home opener.
Streeter was replaced by the Sixers for wearing a shirt that said "We Matter."
The team released the following statement:
“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.”
Streeter turned to social media during the game to voice her displeasure. CBS3 did report Thursday that she had signed a contract that barred her from making a political statement during the performance.
The Sixers addressed their players in a team meeting to get their opinion on how they would like to the situation to be addressed.
“At the end of the day, if we as an organization had to do what we did again, that decision would not have been made,” Brett Brown said on Friday.
The Sixers were pleased by the decision to extend an invitation to Streeter. They had discussed the situation in a team meeting on Thursday where they shared their opinions on the matter and considered options on next steps moving forward.
“Personally, I didn’t think it was right,” Gerald Henderson said. “She wanted to wear a t-shirt that she felt was important. I don’t know if telling her that she couldn’t sing was saying that her statement was unimportant. But she should be able to do what she chooses. That’s why we’re going to call her back to sing.”
Jahlil Okafor, who learned of the incident the day after the game, called it an “unfortunate situation.”
“I think the majority of us wanted to see her get a chance to come back and sing the anthem,” Nik Stauskas said. “Whether she wanted to wear the shirt or whatever it was, we felt like we should give her that opportunity.”
The Sixers do not have additional plans to address the situation. They did not share other options they had considered. Brown would like the team to continue making an impact through community outreach. On opening night, Jerami Grant and Hollis Thompson presented a check to the International Institute for Advanced Instruction-Gateway to Re-Entry on behalf of the team. The players contributed $10,000.
“We’ve talked about some things as far as declaring something to make our stand. We’re not in a position to do that,” Brown said. “I think our best effort to date has been Jerami and Hollis and the organization presenting that check pregame. Trying to do it in ways that we feel is responsible and still bold enough to make the stance that we want to make. I think as it relates to this anthem situation, we simply want to say that we apologize, we’ve made a mistake, and we want to move on.”
CSN's Jessica Camerato contributed to this report.