The National Anthem protests sweeping across the United States don’t typically involve the singer of the Anthem. That changed Monday when one Anthem singer decided to make a statement.
On Monday night, the Sacramento Kings hosted Israeli basketball team Maccabi Haifa B.C. during an exhibition game in Sacramento. Before the game, singer Leah Tysse sang the National Anthem both on her two feet and on one knee.
— HeatherPeterson KFBK (@heatherp_kfbk) October 11, 2016
(Tysee kneels at the end of the anthem about 1:18 into the video)
The protest occurred before the first ever basketball game at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, and Tysee said Tuesday it was 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,” she wrote. “The sad reality is, as a white American, I am bestowed a certain privilege in this nation that is not enjoyed by all people. Black families are having much different conversations with their children about how to interact with the police than white families.”
After the protest occurred, the Kings said they respected Tysse’s right to “exercise her freedom of speech” and that she was chosen to sing the anthem by a “partner organization,” not by the Kings.
Some fans immediately praised Tysse for the move. Others, not so much.
@LeahTysse Much love and respect
@LeahTysse This angel brought me out of a coma 4 years ago just became part of the national conversation. Respecting & loving her even more!
— Jack Cohen (@JCBlooz) October 11, 2016
— L.J. Bering (@LJ_Bering) October 11, 2016
— KEK (@_uptoolate_) October 11, 2016
@LeahTysse yes because it's all about you SMH
— James (@JamesPlrbrrr) October 11, 2016
— Edward Coke (@coke_edward) October 11, 2016