AceShowbiz - Ne-Yo has spoken up after he came under fire over his statement that compared George Floyd's death to "sacrifice" during his performance at the Tuesday, June 9 funeral. Denying that he meant any harm with his remarks about the killing, the singer/songwriter replied to a critic's comment below a video of his performance at the funeral that reminded him, "Murder is not a sacrifice."
In response to the said comment, he insisted, "Yes it is." He went on clarifying his remarks, "I never said he was a 'willing' sacrifice. But the sacrifice of his life was the spark that was apparently needed to create the energy for change."
"It's sad that it took this kind of sacrifice to finally open America's eyes even the little bit we have," he continued. "But the unfortunate truth is the world has not united like this in the name of justice for black people EVER."
He went on clapping back at the critics, saying, "I'm addressing this comment because ignorance divides and we don't need that right now. I'm going out of my way to explain what I meant because we are all in the same fight and can't leave anyone behind."
"I have the utmost respect for George Floyd, his family and the UNWILLING SACRIFICE HE MADE for black people everywhere," he concluded his message.
Ne-Yo's wife Crystal Smith echoed his explanation in her own statement. Taking to her Instagram account, she posted in regards to the controversy, "We thank Jesus for his sacrifice everyday but of course it wasn't a willing sacrifice!"
"Stop dissecting every word someone says especially when they flew to pay their respects to someone respectfully!!" she continued defending her husband. "We have to stop tearing down our own brothers and sisters who have nothing but good intentions and love in everything they do!"
At George's funeral, which was held at the Fountain of Praise Church in George's hometown of Houston, Ne-Yo said before his performance of Boyz II Men's "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday", "Fifty states are protesting at the same time. This man changed the world - changed the world for the better. So, I just want to personally thank George Floyd for his sacrifice, so that my kids can be all right later on. I appreciate the sacrifice, my brother, I genuinely do."
People took issue with his choice of word, with one commenting, "Sick.... So Sick of hearing y'all embarrass yourselves in these speeches." Another blasted the Grammy Award-winning artist, "Neyo just thanked George Floyd for his sacrifice so his kids can be alright... I want y'all to stick with your talents and shut up about everything else."