Musical legend Gladys Knight is tapped to sing the U.S. national anthem at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta Georgia. At the same time, pop star Alessia Cara will perform the Canadian national anthem from Toronto.
Among the performers, Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society Choir will perform the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Deadline reports that the game will also feature more HBCU performances, such as; “the Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band and Florida A&M University Marching 100 will perform during the NBA All-Star player introductions from their respective historical campuses. Throughout the match, members of the Divine Nine fraternities and sororities will introduce exciting performances by Atlanta’s step teams from Spelman College and Morehouse College.”
As the game approaches, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms advises no one to attend the event.
“I have shared my concerns related to public health and safety with the NBA and Atlanta Hawks,” Bottoms tells NBC’s Chenue Her. “We are in agreement that this a made-for-TV event only, and people should not travel to events open to the public, and we strongly encourage promoters, clubs, bars, etc., not to host events in the city related to the game.”
Since its start, the NBA All-Star game is a weekend-long event filled with festivities and celebrations honoring the NBA players.
Due to the on-going pandemic, some NBA players are wary about playing in the games.
“I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star game this year,” the basketball icon says, “I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star game.”
James refers to the game as a “slap in the face.”
Other NBA players have expressed concerns over their own health and safety.
Clipper’s star Kawhi Leonard referred to the NBA’s choice to continue the game during the pandemic as “putting money over health.”
Despite player’s concerns, the NBA will hold the All-Star Game in person at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
The NBA All-Star game will air Sunday Mar.7th at 8 p.m. EST.