Chris Brown – the controversial singer, most recently in the news for hosting a party that led to his arrest on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon – refused to stand for “The Star Spangled Banner” at a charity basketball game Sunday, the anniversary of 9/11.
In doing so, the 27-year-old Brown became the latest celebrity to join San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest against racial injustice and police brutality.
But Brown’s version of protest was hardly a show of solemn dignity.
The anthem at the charity game Sunday was performed by R&B star Tank, TMZ reported. Tank encouraged the audience to stand up to honor the men and women who lost their lives in the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, according to video posted by TMZ.
Tank encouraged even those who would otherwise have good reason to protest the anthem to show respect for those who perished in the terrorist attacks.
But Brown chose not to stand. Instead, he kept his butt planted on the hardwood floor, scowling at times, and laughing with others as people stood around him. He also appeared to be yelling at someone in the crowd and clapped at the end of Tank’s rendition.
Brown’s attention-grabbing protest sparked outrage on social media. One person commenting on TMZ said that Brown was welcome to protest and to not stand, “but at least respect the man singing and listen quietly loser.”
Brown seems to think he has reason to protest the police. Earlier this month, Los Angeles police surrounded his Tarzana home after a guest at a party there, 24-year-old former beauty pageant queen Baylee Curran, accused him of pointing a gun at her.
An hours-long standoff followed, with Brown finally surrendering. He was taken into custody but later released on bail.
He said law enforcement had “defaced” his character and made him out to be a villain in the situation, ranting on Instagram “(expletive) the police.”-TMZ