CAMDEN, N.J. — The Sixers held a team meeting on Thursday to address the situation surrounding the national anthem performance on opening night.
Sevyn Streeter was slated to sing the anthem Wednesday. She said she was replaced that night for wearing a shirt that said "We Matter.” On Thursday, Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo brought in a representative from the organization to meet with the team for around 40 minutes.
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“I think right now everybody’s learning what’s gone on, trying to gather information,” Brett Brown, who heard of the news Thursday morning, said. “Clearly our players are concerned and we hear them. We’re with them. I’m with them. I think how it’s handled going forward, how we share an inclusive sort of decision on how we deal with this moving forward will be discussed later. But right now it has been brought to the players’ attention and my attention.”
CBS3 reported Thursday that Streeter had signed a contract that barred her from making a political statement during the performance.
Brown was asked by a reporter if he would like amends to be made to Streeter.
“I think all that is on the table,” Brown said. “I think how we handle it as a group is going to be thoroughly discussed. We understand the situation and we respect the social issue involved. We completely get it. As a group, we will try to find a way to deal with this.”
The team is considering numerous options, Nik Stauskas said. He recounted there was a sense of disappointment among the players that Streeter was not able to sing.
“I think the team, not only do we want to speak up on the matter that happened yesterday, but I feel like we’re now starting to push, like it’s not just about saying something, it’s about making a difference,” he said. “It’s about going out there and doing something. So we don’t really know what we’re going to do yet, but I know a lot of guys on this team are eager to go out there and make a difference one way or another.”
Robert Covington said many of the players were “kind of thrown off” when finding out what transpired.
“Collectively, we talked about it, everybody expressed their emotions about it,” Covington said. “We know that 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. That’s one thing that, as a team, we’re very aware of now that the whole incident’s happened. It’s not something we’re going to look over. It’s just a matter of time.”
The Sixers have not set a timeline of when they will decide on a next step. Their next game is Saturday afternoon at home against the Hawks.