Anthem singer who was target of slurs returns for NBA Finals Game 4

Anthem singer who was target of slurs returns for NBA Finals Game 4
June 13, 2013, 8:45 pm
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Sebastien de la Cruz, of San Antonio, signs the national anthem before Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

(AP Photo)

SAN ANTONIO — Sebastien de la Cruz, the 11-year-old mariachi singer whose rendition of the national anthem in Game 3 drew praise as well as a slew of ignorant, racist responses via social media, will once again sing the anthem prior to Game 4 on Thursday.

A number of the negative comments alluded to the San Antonio native not being from the United States.

"People don't know, they just assume that I'm just Mexican, but I'm not from Mexico, I'm from San Antonio, born and raised," De La Cruz, whose father served in the U.S. Navy, said in a television interview.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was among those disturbed by the comments, and didn't hold back in letting his feelings on the matter be known.

"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," Popovich said. "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."

Popovich added, "He's [De la Cruz] a class act; way more mature than most his age. As much as those comments by the idiots saddens you about your country, he makes you feel that the future could be very bright."