If watching professional athletes take a knee during the national anthem wasn’t bad enough now you have the performers who sing the national anthem taking a knee as well. During an NBA pre-season game between the Miami Heat and the Philidelphia 76ers in Miami singer Denasia Lawrence took a knee as she sang the anthem. Before she sang the anthem she opened up her jacket to show a shirt with the phrase “Black Lives Matter.”
“We’re being unjustly killed and overly criminalized,” Lawrence wrote early Saturday in a Facebook post. “I took the opportunity to sing and kneel to show that we belong in this country and that we have the right to respectfully protest injustices against us.”
The Miami Heat released a statement saying that they “were unaware” that the singer was going to take a knee during her pregame performance of the National Anthem.
Miami HEAT statement on National Anthem singer kneeling during pregame performance:
"We were unaware of it ahead of time."
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 22, 2016
“I didn’t get paid to sing the national anthem nor was this moment about any sort of fame,” Lawrence wrote. “Black Lives Matter is far larger than a hashtag, it’s a rallying cry.”
“We felt as a basketball team that we would do something united, so that was our focus,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue. We’ve had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action.”
This isn’t the first singer at an NBA pre-season game to take a knee during the singing of the National Anthem. During the Sacramento Kings first pre-season game of the year singer Leah Tysse decided to drop down on one knee.
“This act embodies the conflict many of us feel. I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans. I have sung the anthem before but this time taking a knee felt like the most patriotic thing I could do. I cannot idly stand by as black people are unlawfully profiled, harassed and killed by our law enforcement over and over and without a drop of accountability,” said Tysse in a statement she released on her Facebook.
“All I can say is what we’ve seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in New York earlier Friday, at a news conference following the league’s board of governors meetings. “It would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do.”
The NBA does have a rule stating that both players and coaches must stand during the National Anthem.
What our your thoughts on having performers kneel as they sing the National Anthem, lets us know!
(H/T – ESPN)
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