The black national anthem singer who performed at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener against the Orlando Magic on Friday night decided to “take a knee” in solidarity with professional athletes who have used the demonstration to protest “racial inequality” and “police brutality” in the United States. Her disrespectful display didn’t quite have the effect she hoped it would, though, because fed-up spectators soon gave her a brutal reality check.
While the NFL does not have a rule which specifically mandates that players must stand and honor the flag during the national anthem, the NBA isn’t quite as ambiguous on the topic. The NBA’s official rulebook states, “Players, coaches, and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem.”
Additionally, amid a wave of protests by NFL players during the national anthem, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that he expects his players to show respect for the country when the anthem is played. “It’s about respect for the principles that underlie this country. It doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone agrees at any given point with what’s happening in their country,” said Silver.
Still, this doesn’t prevent entertainers who sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before basketball games from demonstrating in the vain of former San Fransisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
NBA players are forbidden by the league from kneeling during the national anthem, but that apparently doesn’t apply to the performers who are actually singing it.
At the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener Friday night, singer Justine Skye dropped to a knee as she finished the final notes of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Skye, a 22-year-old recording artist for Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, posted video of the incident on Instagram on Friday evening. [Source: The Wildcard]
Skye shared the video of her little stunt on Instagram, captioning the clip, “Got a bit shaky at the end.. was pretty uneasy about singing the anthem and probably won’t ever be invited to sing it again but I had to take a knee for the opening game in my city and let my voice be heard.” She added, “We will not be silenced,” and included the hashtag “#blacklivesmatter.”
So, why not simply decline the invitation to perform the anthem then, seeing as it’s such a morally compromising prospect for her? Perhaps because she wouldn’t have had a viral video of herself to post on Instagram a week after dropping a new single.
Skye just released her new song “Don’t Think About It,” which is described by Rap-Up as “raunchy lyrics about a carefree romance with no strings attached.” Clearly, she’s a real classy broad. If you have three minutes to waste, you can check it out below.
According to AP, Skye’s distasteful antics were met with loud boos from basketball fans in the stands at Friday’s game, but it appears that she conveniently cropped her Instagram video before they started. She has had to deal with more than just the backlash of pissed off spectators who witnessed her disrespectful display firsthand, though. After sharing the video of her protest, she was blasted with negative comments from fellow social media users making it clear that they do not agree with her political views.
While Justine Skye likely thought she’d be able to gain some followers and earn her new single some publicity by kneeling during the national anthem, the backlash she has received has far outweighed any sort of benefit she might have seen for her shameful protest. She’ll be lucky to end up as a one-hit wonder at this point, after cementing her reputation as just another ungrateful, unpatriotic, fame-mongering singer who has allowed a misguided agenda to quash any common sense she previously had.