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Racists riled when Latino boy sings national anthem at NBA game

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Here’s an example of the worst — and best — kinds of Americans MAKING THEMSELVES HEARD:

When Darius Rucker canceled plans to sing the national anthem ahead of Game 3 of the NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs asked Sebastien De La Cruz to do the honors. De La Cruz, an 11-year-old Mexican-American, is a San Antonio resident who appeared as a singer on America’s Got Talent last year, and he didn’t disappoint.

That the Spurs chose a Latino boy in a mariachi suit quickly became a controversy, with social media users asking why an “illegal alien” was singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and why he was “dressed like such a little Mexican.” One Twitter user posited that “They prolly made this Mexican sing to stay in America.”

De La Cruz was quick to respond , as was San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who wrote in a Facebook message that De La Cruz “represent[s] the best of our nation’s future!” Spurs coach Greg Poppovich blasted the critics as “idiots” who were for some reason “proud of their ignorance.” But the Spurs organization itself had the best response, because it asked De La Cruz to come back and sing the national anthem again before Game 4 Thursday night…

It’s great that the Spurs didn’t back down in the face of criticism, but it shouldn’t be shocking. San Antonio is 63 percent Latino, according to the Census Bureau, so the organization is used to embracing its diverse population. And if any franchise understands the benefits of immigration, it’s the Spurs: eight of their 15 players are foreign-born, coming from places like Argentina, Brazil, Australia, and France.

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6 Comments

  1. Craig Knauss

    CNN said this morning that De La Cruz was born in San Antonio. According to our Constitution, that makes him an AMERICAN.

  2. I just didn’t think that this song was a particular fit for his vocal range. It was a little rough.

  3. Jared: The boy’s rendition of the song is beside the point.

  4. Why does something “quickly became a controversy” just because a few keyboard commandos tweet bigoted, attention-seeking remarks? God forbid somebody scroll through a day’s worth of comments at rrstar.com!

    I believe this falls under social media rule #1 – Don’t feed the trolls. They only get bigger and hungrier.

  5. Luke: I disagree. I think casting this kind of stuff in a negative light isolates it as unacceptable in polite society.

    For example, the N-word was widely heard across a fairly broad swath of American society when I was a kid. But it gradually became “politically incorrect” (to coin a term), and its usage became comparatively uncommon.

    The racists should be made to understand that their hateful rhetoric doesn’t cut it with most people anymore.

  6. expdoc


    For example, the N-word was widely heard across a fairly broad swath of American society when I was a kid. But it gradually became “politically incorrect” (to coin a term), and its usage became comparatively uncommon.”

    Of course, now it is only widely heard in the African American community.

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