By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A singer from Berkeley took a knee while singing the national anthem at the Kings’ preseason game at Golden 1 Center.

Many people are outraged.

“It was an amazing night,” Sonia Susac said. “And to have today be about a political statement is infuriating to me.”

Sonia Susac is stunned.

“She took something away from us that night,” Susac said.

Susac was in the group of Albie Aware Breast Cancer survivors for a “Pink in the Paint” event at the Golden 1 Center with national anthem singer Leah Tysse, a one-year survivor, when Tysse finished singing the anthem by dropping to one knee.

”And I just didn’t want to believe it, but I was watching it with my own eye,” Susac said.

Susac calls Tysse’s decision a distraction, taking focus off a sisterhood of breast cancer survivors.

“And it was supposed to be about healing, awareness, and promoting the cause, and promoting helping women,” Susac said. “And instead we were talking about something completely different today.”

Tysse explained her decision on Facebook, with a post reading in part:

“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.”

Kneeling during the national anthem has become a symbol of protest against racial injustice. Kings players locked arms during the length of the anthem in a show of solidarity.

The Kings organization issued a statement reading: “We respect the personal decision of Leah Tysse to exercise her freedom of speech.”

For Susac, Tysse’s kneel turned breast cancer survivors at the Golden 1 Center into a sidenote.

“I had no idea she was going to do that, no idea,” Susac said. “And she’s gifted with a beautiful voice, but she should stick to singing.”

Comments (6)
  1. CityFella says:

    A man walked into the store talking about this. I didn’t know what he was talking about. The man was outraged about the singer taking a knee and wanted to know my opinion. I told him my father was in the military, he fought to preserve our freedoms. He didn’t like that, and as he left the store, I said there are bigger issues.

  2. Richard says:

    It only take away from breast cancer awareness because the story was about how the singer took a knee. For most of us that didn’t even know a King’s game took place, we see this story and it’s not about breast cancer awareness.

    Did Leah Tysse kneeling take away from the breast cancer awareness? You bet, and? Every month seems to be about breast cancer awareness. You can’t go anywhere without seeing pink this or that. But what about police brutality against (black) American citizens? Shame on you folks that can’t share your spotlight! If your organization was smarter, you would work together, not necessarily with the BLM movement, but I think you know what I mean. And no, I do not endorse that fraud charity, Susan G Komen.

    As a black man and a USMC veteran, I say Oohrah to Leah Tysse. This is America, home of the brave, land of the free.

  3. ALAN W HART says:

    If they can’t respect our flag and national anthem, stop the performance all together

  4. Every dollar you spend at the arena, goes to pay the salaries of these disrespectful players and singers. Even worse, Kings management and ownership is supporting them. Should you? And of course, the upper deck is an unsafe disaster…enjoy going to the hospital and suing the Kings and the City.

  5. Let’s rename the place, “B.L.M. Center”
    The City is blowing $628 million (35 years of loan payments, interest and principal) on an arena that’s 50% unsafe and a platform for disgusting, police-hate politics. By next May, the Kings players better be down on BOTH KNEES, begging for forgiveness after another 50-loss season.

  6. mark says:

    They have to respect national anthem at every cost

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