The Brooklyn Nets invited singer Justine Skye, a native of the New York City borough, to sing the national anthem at Friday night's home opener at Barclays Center -- and to the surprise of spectators and Nets management, she took a knee at the end of her performance.
Reaction was a mix of cheers and boos, according to The Associated Press.
Skye, 22, appears to have taken a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, based on an Instagram post about the evening, which included video of her performance and the hashtag #blacklivesmatter.
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
A post shared by The Purple Unicorn (@justineskye) on Oct 20, 2017 at 5:08pm PDT
"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 wrote. "We will not be silenced #blacklivesmatter."
Players from both the Nets -- who locked arms while Skye sang -- and the Orlando Magic stood along the foul line during her performance.
A spokeswoman for the Nets said it was unaware that Skye was planning to take a knee. "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," she said.
The Nets beat the Magic 126-121.