I was at the 76ers game Wednesday. A day of renewal. A day we were supposed to see the first pick of the 2016 draft but instead were treated to finally seeing Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. Two players drafted in 2014 who had not yet played for the Sixers.
I could tell you about that, and how happy I am that Embiid seems more than capable or that I walked by him Tuesday night around the Ben Franklin parkway and got extremely excited. I was there at the game and saw a Sixers dancer sing the national anthem. Immediately I thought that something happened, that there was some sort of #blacklivesmatter protest planned and things had gone in direction that wasn’t necessarily in their (perceived) best interest.
I would like to say that the woman who sang the national anthem did a lovely job. I hope they have Jemila as the backup at all times because she is more than capable and it’s somewhat unfortunate that the story isn’t about her.
So by now you may or may not know that Sevyn Streeter was not allowed to sing by the organization because she wore a “We Matter” jersey.
— Sevyn (@sevyn) October 27, 2016
This comes not long after another BLM protest at a sixers game; albiet not a home game. It was a preseason game and nothing really of note happened so I cannot really blame the media for focusing on the protest and not the game. I know what the media focused on it because I was bombarded with it the next day.
So I cannot really blame the Sixers for not letting the story be about Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, a slightly healthy Okafor and a Sixers team that aims not to be basement dwellers; at least not on purpose. The BLM aspect would be part of the story or partly interrupt the story and who knows exactly what Ms. Streeter might have had planned besides the jersey. Either way it would definitely be covered and this NBA franchise thing is a business. If I were running it I wouldn’t want the BLM story soaking up the internet while I’m trying to make the case that I’m a serious franchise again.
It’s an election year and I can’t watch TV without watching some sort of political bullshit ad against Trump or for Trump or against Katie McGinty or Pat Toomey or whatever the fuck. I really don’t need politics at a sports game I paid money to see ad-interrupted. Now if Embiid wanted to wear a BLM shirt or Oakafor wanted to kneel during the national anthem I support that for the most part. But to be asked to sing the national anthem and then make some sort of political statement; I’d rather hear a recording if it has to come to it, Whitney Houston preferably.
This isn’t about BLM or silencing people or sparking a debate. The debate is happening and if you’re unaware there’s social injustice in the United States you’ve probably been in a coma since the early 1400’s. I’m not advocating for people to stop educating about the issues they believe to be important but I am saying that you may no longer be able to do that with a symbolic gesture; it’s been done to death.
So maybe they should have let her sing and I wouldn’t be writing this and it wouldn’t have sparked a debate of whether or not she should have been able to sing. One thing is obvious, the story is now about Sevyn Streeter and not BLM.
Somewhat lost in all this is the person who books the anthem singer and halftime show because things didn’t really go that well.
I’ll be the first one to tell you that I had never heard of Desiigner but I’m open to new things. I’m not really sure what this new thing was but there was a tattooed white chick dancing at the end of my row. It was energetic but they were clearly not actually performing the raps (maybe besides the yips and yaps). At least I got a t-shirt out of this, but it was a white t-shirt unfortunately which is objectively racist. Way to go Sixers 🙁