Singer Chris Brown opted to sit during the national anthem while at a charity basketball game in Los Angeles -- on the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks (video below).
The singer, who recently made headlines for a standoff with police at his home, is the latest celebrity to protest police brutality by sitting during the anthem. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to do so and sparked intense controversy and backlash as a result.
Brown’s protest came during a celebrity game, in which R&B singer Tank sang the anthem. Tank acknowledged attendees’ right to sit or stand during the song, but requested that the audience stand “in the wake of 9/11” and out of respect for those who lost their lives in the attack.
During the song, Brown was seen sitting next to friends -- smiling and laughing until the end when he got up and applauded Tank’s performance, TMZ reported.
The game in question was the fifth annual Power 106 Celebrity Basketball game, which benefited Homeboy Industries.
Since Kaepernick’s protest, other professional sports stars have joined in his protest -- including at least four players with the Miami Dolphins.
“We encourage all members of our organization to stand at attention during the national anthem out of respect and appreciation for the freedoms we are afforded as Americans,” the team wrote in a statement following the protest.
Brown’s actions garnered mostly negative reactions online, with many calling his choice to sit disrespectful and wrong.
“Who cares if he's sitting down..... better off. This woman beating douchebag should sit down....stay out of site,” one TMZ reader wrote.
“Disgusting, These overpaid, spoiled and ungrateful "athletes" should be sent to the showers until they realize what they are protesting. They protest against this country. If you don't like what you have, get the hell out!!!” another reader commented on Daily Mail.
The incident came after a highly-publicized standoff with police at Brown’s home in Los Angeles, which he later spoke out about following his arrest.
“My character has been defaced,” he said following the standoff, Us Weekly reported.