Concluding the singing of the national anthem at the Brooklyn Nets home opener against the Orlando Magic at the Barclay’s Center Friday evening, Oct. 20 Justine Skye utilized her platform in front of a nationally televised audience to heighten awareness regarding police terrorism and racial injustices her people endure daily, and knelt on the court. There was a mixed reaction from the audience of more than 15,000, with some applauding in support, while others booed in dismay.
“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,” Skye posted on Instagram, along with a video clip of her performance.
In solidarity with some NFL players, the 22-year-old Brooklynite took a page out of their playbook and seems to be hoping the trend continues with the onset of the NBA season.
Although ballers from both teams stood on the hardwood court during Skye’s performance, as required by the NBA, they locked arms in a display of unity. The NFL does not enforce a similar rule.
Skye is an African-American recording artist represented by Roc Nation, which was founded by hip-hop business mogul Jay-Z, who was also part-owner of the Nets when they established Brooklyn as their home five
“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,” a Nets spokeswoman told the media afterward.
Skye’s courageous anti-establishment protest came just days after NFL players and owners met in Manhattan to discuss the ongoing national anthem protest initiated by ex-San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Some social analysts say significant progress is being made as athletes and entertainers of this present era are utilizing their high profile and very influential platforms to make well needed statements regarding social issues.
Watch the clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54crimFCvog.