The NBA appears to have had its first National Anthem protest of the season, after a singer at a Brooklyn Nets game took a knee during her performance.
On Friday evening, Justine Skye sang the National Anthem at the Brooklyn Nets’ first home game of the season, and went down to one knee for the final note of her performance. The crowd, which had been cheering her performance, began offering up boos and jeers in response.
Skye took to Instagram after the performance to post video, and to explain why she did it. The twenty-two-year-old credited Black Lives Matter for inspiring her protest over inequality for African Americans. Skye comes from a wealthy family, and her mother is an attorney in the music industry.
The singer posted this explanation on her Instagram page.
“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. We will not be silenced #blacklivesmatter.”
Justine Skye got down on one knee as she finished the anthem, and the crowd split into cheers and boos.
The NBA requires coaches and players to stand for the anthem.
A Nets representative said they were unaware she was planning to kneel during the game with Orlando Magic.
“We recognize that tonight’s national anthem singer kneeled briefly at the end of her performance and we were not aware that she was going to do so,” the spokesperson said.
The NFL has been in the headlines as players across the league protest the national anthem by sitting, locking arms, or taking a knee as it is played before games. The League has said it will not require players to stand.
Here is video of her performance, posted on her Instagram account with her reasoning for her actions.