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A Mexican-American boy sang the National Anthem, and racist NBA fans can’t handle it
The kid was dynamic. The performance was brilliant. The problem was that people on Twitter couldn’t focus on anything except his heritage.
Last night’s NBA Finals game had all the intrigue of a spoiled CBS drama. The San Antonio Spurs got ahead early, Miami tied it up around the half, and then the Spurs came out in the second to whip LeBron James and company into a furrowed frenzy. By the time I left the arena, with six minutes remaining, the Spurs were up 30—and climbing. Final score: Spurs 113, Heat 77.
Outside of excited tweets about #GaryNeal! and #DannyGreeeeeeen, the Internet didn’t have much to talk about Tuesday. Heat superstar James was pedestrian, the Spurs went about their business, and that fight between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks looked more like an even competition.
There was, however, the curious case of singer Sebastien De La Cruz, and the racist tweets that accompanied his presence.
Hailed as “The Boy With the Golden Voice” after his preliminary performances on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, 11-year-old De La Cruz was the San Antonian selected to sing the National Anthem last night. The kid was fantastic. A few minutes before tipoff, he walked out onto the court in full mariachi get-up and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” with so much strength that you could fully believe in the American dream. The kid was dynamic. He was theatrical as it gets. He hit all the high notes. He stayed long on the low notes.
The problem was that people on Twitter couldn’t focus on anything except his heritage.
Twitter erupted in racism last night, letting the Mexican-American De La Cruz know full well that he wasn’t welcome to sing the National Anthem at such a prestigious sporting event.
The site’s output was vile. It was disgusting. It had all the makings of the worst of the worst on the Internet. Here’s a smattered sample.
Shit we gota Mexican signing our national anthem (: only in San Antonio
— Benny James Trevino (@Baller_Benny32) June 12, 2013
Who this mexican singing the national anthem? Lls sike nah
— iAmKing (@SupremeStrokage) June 12, 2013
Could this national anthem possibly get any more stereotypical? Might as well throw a sombrero on him too.
— Some Random (@shawnintheflesh) June 12, 2013
“@uncle_rico25: You really had a Mexican sing the national anthem? Go to hell San Antonio .” Actually, sir that’s where racists go.
— Sarah E (@lizzyelectric) June 12, 2013
SPURS GOT THIS LITTLE ASS KID LOOKING LIKE HE ABOUT TO SALSA DANCE ALL OVER THE COURT SINGING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM.
— MarcosGarcia (@MrStealYaChsCke) June 12, 2013
One of the Three Amigas child singing the National Anthem Julie! Lol
— Silky Johnson (@Roger4Mayor) June 12, 2013
WHY AND THE FUCK DID THE SPURS GET LITTLE PEDRO TO SING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM SMH -.-
— MarcosGarcia (@MrStealYaChsCke) June 12, 2013
Why is the boy from George Lopez singin the National Anthem?
— Bruh Man (@YourFavTweeter_) June 12, 2013
Thought that little dude was gonna sing the Mexican national anthem… #nbafinals
— Lee Rodriguez (@Scumlee_WSSC) June 12, 2013
They should’ve let this Mexican song the national anthem on his horse
— Taco (@_DonEsco) June 12, 2013
we got a fucking chacho doin the national anthem?! in a fucking MEXICAN outfit? WTF is going on in San Antonio???
— CAPital Gains (@BLangsett) June 12, 2013
THEY GOT A FUTURE LUCHA LIBRE SINGING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
— Steve Rogers (@NO_TATS_B) June 12, 2013
Why is Erik Spoelstra singing the National Anthem?
— Skip Bayless (@FunSkipBayless) June 12, 2013
Update: De La Cruz is coming back for an encore. You’ll hear him again Thursday night for Game 4.
Correction: Sebastien De La Cruz is 11 years old, not 10, as previously reported. We regret the error.
Chase Hoffberger reported on YouTube, web culture, and crime for the Daily Dot until 2013, when he joined the Austin Chronicle. Until late 2018, he served as that paper’s news editor and reported on criminal justice and politics.