After singing the National Anthem prior to Game 3 of the NBA Finals in San Antonio, Sebastien De La Cruz was greeted with more criticism than any 11-year-old should ever have to experience.
But the hateful and racist remarks did not faze De La Cruz, who returned to perform the anthem again for Game 4 on Thursday and was given a standing ovation by the San Antonio crowd.
“With the racist remarks, it was just people how they were raised,” De La Cruz, who was discovered on America’s Got Talent, told KENS 5 in San Antonio. “My father and my mama told me you should never judge people how they look.”
De La Cruz also responded via his personal Twitter account, in a message that has been retweeted nearly 2,500 times.
Please do not pay attention to the negative people. I am an American living the American Dream. This is part of the American life.—
Sebastien De La Cruz (@selcharrodeoro) June 12, 2013
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who rarely opens up to the media, had some much harsher words for the young boy’s critics.
“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,” Popovich said during his pregame press conference Thursday afternoon. “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.
“[De La Cruz is] 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.”
Check out his rousing rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner in the video below.
This high school baseball game was played just miles from the wildfires that are ravaging Colorado’s Black Forest.
Photo via Twitter/@PeterMcEvoy2
Walk-offs are good.—
Brett Anderson (@BrettAnderson49) June 14, 2013
If you haven’t seen this Stephen Jackson interview yet, watch it. You won’t be sorry.