Jun 13, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Sebastien De La Cruz sings the national anthem prior to game four of the 2013 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
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 returned 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, 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.
Before the anthem Thursday evening, San Antonio mayor Julian Castro introduced De La Cruz, who was given a huge ovation and loud cheers throughout his performance.
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.