Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest has inspired others to show their solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement. On Friday night (Oct. 21), singer Denasia Lawrence performed the national anthem at the Miami Heat’s preseason game in Miami while kneeling and wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt.
The Heat players showed their support by standing side-by-side with each other and locking their arms as they have been doing since the preseason started.
It was a bold move by Lawrence and probably the first time it has ever been done at a NBA game.
“When I took the opportunity to sing the national anthem at the Heat game, it was bigger than me,” Lawrence wrote in a statement on her Twitter account. “Right now, we’re seeing a war on Black & Brown bodies — we’re unjustly killed and overly criminalized.
“As a social worker, I’ve worked with youth, families and veterans, and everyday they all teach me the value of fighting against injustice — that all are treated equally no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation or physical abilities,” she continued. “I didn’t get paid to sing the national anthem; nor was this moment about any sort of fame. Black Lives Matter is far larger than a hashtag, it’s a rallying cry. And until our cry is rightfully heard, protests will still happen and demands will still be made!”
Miami Heat issued a statement saying that they had no advance warning that she would be kneeling during her performance.
Of course, Lawrence’s protest sparked mixed reactions on social media.
“This is a disgrace! Everyone associated with this and allowing it to happen should be boycotted and fired!” tweeted one angry commenter. Another person wrote, “[Denasia Lawrence] takes this movement up a few notches with this brave act” and added the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
What do you think of Denasia Lawrence’s brave act? Tell us in the comments below. Also, read all of the tweets following her performance below.