Basketball now has its own National Anthem controversy

Singer Fergie sings the national anthem before an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Various players in the NFL created a storm of comments by kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem this past season. Now it’s basketball’s turn for a National Anthem controversy, but nothing to do with the athletes.

The NBA All-Star game Sunday produced an uproar even before the tipoff. A vocalist, who goes by the name of Fergie, formerly of the group known as the Black Eyed Peas, not only took “forever” to sing the National Anthem, but she did so in a sexy and jazzy manner that provoked a slew of objections on Twitter.

At last count, there were 10,301 tweets.

Even Roseanne Barr, who years ago performed a shrieking rendition of the anthem at a major league baseball game, apparently saw this one and tweeted that she thought her version was better. That is questionable if you heard how Barr sang it.

On Sunday players stood around nervously anxious to get the All-Star game underway. One of them, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, was openly laughing at what he was seeing and hearing. Others lined up on the court looked puzzled.

Charles Barkley, one of the TV crew, giggled and Shaquille O’Neal said “It was different, it was sexy.” Barkley replied, “Damn right it was different. I need a cigarette after that.”

One particular tweet said Fergie made the anthem sound like a phone sex operator.

Watch and listen, and tell us what you think.

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