The singer performing the national anthem at the Brooklyn Nets home game on Friday dropped to a knee as she completed the performance.
Justine Skye received a mixed reaction from the crowd, but said in an Instagram post that she felt compelled to join in the anthem protests that some NFL players have engaged in, aiming to draw attention to racial injustice in America.
"Got a bit shaky at the end." she said on the social media site.
"Was pretty uneasy about singing the anthem and probably won’t ever be invited to sing it again but I had to take a knee for the opening game in my city and let my voice be heard."
US President Donald Trump has slammed NFL players who fail to stand for the anthem as disrespecting the military.
The issue has spilled over into other sports, although NBA players -- many of them vocal critics of Trump -- have stood for the pre-game anthem in the season that got underway this week. The league has a rule requiring players to stand.
Skye, a Brooklyn native, indicated she felt she had to use the platform afforded her to demonstrate.
"We will not be silenced," she posted on Instagram with the hashtag "blacklivesmatter".