SAN ANTONIO (USA Today) -- Sebastien De La Cruz, the 11-year-old boy who sang the national anthem during Game 3 of the NBA Finals in San Antonio, was the victim of hateful online comments following his first performance.
Despite this, De La Cruz will return to sing the anthem at the start of Game 4. Game 3 was such a blowout for the Spurs that the team asked De La Cruz to return and sing tonight, eager to keep their luck going. The young singer, who was discovered on the TV show America's Got Talent, was happy to come back.
Some people out there won't be happy with that decision.
After De La Cruz sang the anthem at the beginning of Game 3, a slew of hateful and racist tweets were directed at the 11-year-old boy, many questioning his race and immigration status. The young singer is Mexican-American.
For his part, De La Cruz seems to be unfazed by the whole thing. From an interview with ABC affiliate KTRK Houston:
"I think the people were talking bad because of what I was wearing and it's not my fault." Sebastien said. "It's what I love and I'm just proud to be a mariachi singer. It's their opinion actually and if they don't like mariachi, that's their problem. I love it."
It's tough to find anything to think about this story except that it's really, really sad that an 11-year-old boy has to even answer these questions. Let's hope he doesn't have to answer any more of them.
Barack Obama weighed in on the events, sending out the following from his official Twitter:
"Don't miss @selcharrodeoro's encore performance of the national anthem at the #NBAFinals in San Antonio tonight."
Gregg Popovich spoke out about the incident as well.
"Well, I would like to say that I would be shocked or surprised by the comments. But given the fact that there's still a significant element of bigotry and racism in our nation, I'm not surprised. It still plagues us, obviously. And what I was surprised by was how proud these idiots were of their ignorance, by printing their names next to their comments.
"He's a class act. Way more mature than most his age. And as much as those comments by the idiots saddens you about your country, he makes you feel that the future could be very bright."
When you can get Gregg Popovich to speak about anything, it's best to listen.
UPDATE: Before the anthem this evening, San Antonio mayor Julian Castro introduced De La Cruz, who was given a huge ovation and loud cheers throughout his performance.
After the anthem, both Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra and Popovich walked up and shook Sebastien's hand.?
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