Leah Tysee, part of KFBK's 31 Survivors in 31 Days breast cancer series, kneels while singing National Anthem at @SacramentoKings game. pic.twitter.com/Xo0DmAUFIs— HeatherPeterson KFBK (@heatherp_kfbk) October 11, 2016
The Sacramento Kings locked arms in solidarity during the national anthem ahead of their preseason game against Israeli team Maccabi Haifa, but it was the national anthem singer who made a bold statement nobody expected.
Breast cancer survivor Leah Tysse sang the anthem on Monday night and, upon hitting the final refrain, she took one knee and continued, much to the anger of some fans in attendance. You can hear in the video a mixture of cheers and boos when Tysse kneeled, much like Colin Kaepernick and players around the NFL have been doing to raise awareness for racial inequality and police brutality.
Tysse explained why she kneeled on her Facebook page:
Why I took a knee while singing the Anthem at a Sacramento Kings NBA game: 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. I believe that the majority of police are good and are against this too and as a nation we all need to speak up. We should all be outraged and demand justice and an end to the brutality. Let’s look around our communities for those facilitating healthy interactions between law enforcement and communities of color and support. 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. Let's be honest. Until we can recognize that white privilege exists we cannot have a dialogue about race. Whether or not you can see if from your vantage point, there is a deep system of institutionalized racism in America, from everyday discrimination to disproportionate incarceration of people of color to people losing their lives at the hands of the police simply for being black. This is not who we claim to be as a nation. It is wrong and I won't stand for it. #solidarity#pleasevote