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Popovich rightfully rips “idiots” who tweeted racist comments about national anthem singer

Jun 14, 2013, 9:54 AM EDT

For Game 3 of the NBA Finals, the first game in San Antonio in the series, the Spurs had scheduled Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish to sing the national anthem before the game. But bad traffic around the stadium (which made Tim Duncan and Tony Parker miss warm-ups) made him miss it.

So the Spurs turned to Sebastien de la Cruz, and 11-year-old boy with a big voice (he’s appeared on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”). Wearing his Mariachi signer’s outfit, the San Antonio native belted out a beautiful rendition of our national anthem.

Then twitter became home to a lot of racist tweets. If you want to see them, Public Shaming collected a bunch. I’m not going to dignify that crap by posting it here. It is disgusting.

Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich was asked about it before Game 4 and he broke his pattern of short, terse answers to come to the boy’s defense.

“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. “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….

“(Sebastien 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.”

Give the Spurs credit — they brought Sebastien back for Game 4 and he did the song, and this nation, proud again.

Good job Sebastien.

  1. jtchernak - Jun 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Kid has a lot of talent and the anthem could have been better if he didn’t try to make the anthem into his own personal song

    • andyhr17 - Jun 14, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Umm…I take it you’ve never heard anyone sing the national anthem at a sporting event before?

    • zerole00 - Jun 14, 2013 at 10:43 AM


      If we wanted every rendition to sound the same we would just play a recording. Don’t be an idiot.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      stop banging your head on the wall.

    • hehateme2 - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      He did ok. Not great, but ok. People need to know that Texas is a border state so…

  2. goraidersgospurs - Jun 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Hell has a special places for all of those A $$ #oles!!!

  3. livingsacrifice86 - Jun 14, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    I’m Hispanic and those comments made me seriously disappointed in my country. Just because he’s dressed the way he is, or looks the way he looks, does not mean he’s illegal. Like myself, he’s probably 3 rd or 4th generation. I won’t get too much into this subject, but the kid did a great job and I’m sure made alot of people, especially his family, proud. Hats off to the Spurs for bringing him back

    • badintent - Jun 15, 2013 at 3:16 AM

      Just saw Jimmy Kimmels, Mean Tweets to NBA players. Just goes to show that stupidity has no boundaries or requires a license.Twitter was invented by Brit Twits from a country that has a well established class system where the 1 percent govern the other 99 percent as serfs. And has the snobbery to go with it. So don’t read to much intoTwitter, another war , and we get to ship the idiots using it to some third world to fight more morons( who think that Facebook is great).
      The singer did a great job. On both nights. Not a Spurs fan. Just a fan of talent.

  4. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 14, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    So here’s the question. After 4 games which 12 year-old lucky charm with a beautiful voice has the edge? Anyone else annoyed with the way the SA Mayor used him as as a prop for a photo op? Still, I love the part when he says,”that our flag was still there”, how he points to the flag and gives a nod with a slight wink. Subtle but cool.

    The Miami girl is undeniably charming and cute, but if you’re her parents and you’re going to put her out there like that; you have to consider orthodontics don’t you? Just sayin’. And let’s hope the Miami Mayor keeps his slimy face out of this for Game 6.

    But so far after 4, I have to give the edge to the Spurs kid. Played through adversity (of which I didn’t know about until this article), and showed some veteran lounge singer coolness.

  5. gatordontplay - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    the kid had two awesome performances I hope to see him game 5. as far as Twitter goes its full or ignorant status and remarks its truly sad to read stuff on their of ALL RACES. go back to the election with black people making ignorant racist remarks at roomney as long with whites doing the same with obama. I just dont think we should using twitter as reliable information but that seems to be where journalist get all their information from

    • bigmeechy74 - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      The irony of you talking about blacks being racist towards a mormon is really hilarious. You must not know much about the mormon religion huh

    • azarkhan - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      From what I saw on Twitter, many if not most of the remarks attacking Cruz were tweeted by blacks.

      • truprof - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        You can tell their color by their Twitter handle?

  6. hjworton46 - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    The kid did it right, those who hate him will still be jacking off to Internet porn when he’s made a success of his talent. Screw ’em.

  7. hojo20 - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Is he auditioning for “Three Amigos 2” with that outfit?

    • andyhr17 - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      Because all cultures must be exactly like yours or they shall be mocked.. Also, why is he so tan???

      • b8375629 - Jun 14, 2013 at 9:59 PM

        Why is he so tan? Because he ate too many beans?


  8. lax2013 - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    I am not of Mexican heritage, but I applaud and admire their culture just as I do with any. At his young age, that kid would know better not to enter such a classless comment. Hurry up, you are late for the latest audition of Dumb & Dumber.

  9. wammygiveaway - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Of all the things to make me angry, bigotry on an 11-year boy singing our fabled national anthem crossed the line.

    As a fellow Mexican-American/Chicano, I know what it’s like to be ridiculed, stereotyped and shunned. People call us such racist names, even go far as calling us gangsters without looking at the facts. They think we are evil people sent by some crazy extremists to take over the United States with our drugs, prostitution, assassination and terrorism, when in really there are good Latinos in the world who just want to make a living. We are the farmers who cultivate your agriculture 24/7. We are the builders who build your houses and facilities to give you shelter and a place to work. We are the chefs who provide you food and nutrition (like my mother). We have families, we care for our children and try to provide them for a better future.

    I am a good person. I love anime, cartoons, video games, and comics. I love the arts. I have interest in the music business, with experiences as both a promoter, a podcaster and rap writer/performer. I love technology and know how to fix computers, and am getting better at it. Basketball has given me an opportunity to share my views and opinions, and now I’m interested in turning intangible defense into a readable statistic. I have political views just like the rest of you, and none of them, not one single thought includes disgracing the land we call “Home of the brave.” I am a Mexican, and will never forget my roots. I am an American, and I will never betray my country.

    Much respect to Gregg Popovich for defending Sebastian De La Cruz. I thought we were done with all this when Dr. Martin Luther King paved the way for racial equality and civil rights. I thought we were done with all this when Jason Collins came out as gay, and received a standing ovation all around the world. Such comments that were directed to Sebastian were a disgrace to what America stands for.

    I thought we were done with all of this. Apparently, we are not.

  10. jaerba - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Good on Pop and great on Sebastien.

    That said, he’s still only the second greatest Li’l Sebastian.

  11. aldavis4president - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    It’s funny that this kid nails the national anthem and other Caucasians whove tried don’t even know the words!! And its obviously a bunch of punk lil white kids writing all that stuff about him. Thats more on the parenting but White America needs to grow up and live in the 21st century!! #VIVAMEXICO!

  12. yonupe69 - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    @azarkhan you say most if not all the racist post were from blacks???? How did you come to this conclusion? Did you tweet them and ask? Was it their handle? You probably made a conclusion from the handles and made a ignorant conclusion…

  13. davidly - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Oh the manifold irony inherent in the collective xenophobe’s criticism of an relatively innocent enough multicultural spin on the history of glassy-eyed revisionist renditions of colonialistic struggles for supremacy vis a vis jingoistic pageantry.

    • andyhr17 - Jun 14, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      Keep studying and you’ll win the spelling bee!

      • davidly - Jun 14, 2013 at 8:26 PM

        That’d be funny if you had any idea what I was saying.

      • andyhr17 - Jun 14, 2013 at 9:56 PM

        Oh, I know what you’re saying. Keep trying to sound smarter than everyone by using big words, though. We’re all very impressed.

      • Kansachusetts - Jun 14, 2013 at 10:04 PM

        @davidly, it would be not just funny but AMAZING if we had any idea what you were saying

      • davidly - Jun 15, 2013 at 3:40 AM

        ‘Splain it to us with simple talk, then, andyhr17.

      • davidly - Jun 15, 2013 at 3:41 AM

        @Kansachusetts: I agree.

      • andyhr17 - Jun 15, 2013 at 7:28 PM

        What exactly are you getting out of this? Showing off on the internet? Big man.

      • davidly - Jun 15, 2013 at 7:38 PM

        Me, showing off? I made an on-topic comment that I thought had an insightful perspective and you came along and tried to belittle me with your clever commentary.

        If you think I was being pretentious, my last reply to you was an invitation to set me straight and show me how much more easily I could’ve expressed myself. You apparently choose not to, in favor of more troll snark.

        So to answer your last question, ask yourself the same.

        And, anyway, what makes you think I’m a big man?

      • andyhr17 - Jun 15, 2013 at 11:05 PM

        “‘Splain it to us with simple talk, then, andyhr17.” was you simple invitation to “set you straight”. Man are you an a-hole.

      • davidly - Jun 16, 2013 at 7:08 AM

        You started this whole thing. And you still apparently don’t know what I was talking about, because bringing it all the way down to calling me an a-hole means you can do no better. Unless, of course, your spelling bee jibe was just your way of being a real sweetheart on the one hand, while displaying your keen insight on the other.

      • andyhr17 - Jun 16, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        No, that’s my way of putting an end to this stupid elementary school argument that has nothing to do with basketball which I’m not sure why I allowed myself to be involved in. I stand by my original comments that you were doing nothing more than showing off you’re very impressive lexicon. Showing off on the internet to strangers. Mighty impressive. Now go ahead and get the last word and I’ll let this be, no matter what you say.

      • davidly - Jun 16, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        1) It wasn’t an elementary school argument until you made it so.
        2) This thread has barely anything to do with basketball and my comment is germane to the topic at hand.
        3) The showing off started when you replied with typical Internet trashtalk. You went further down that road by claiming “oh, I know” what I was talking about, but implying that you’re somehow superior because you don’t have to use your entire vocabulary.
        4) Your ostensible pre-emptive taking the high road by allowing me the last word is equally childish. This format is made for an exchange of ideas. You cheapened it with your first reply and have done nothing but reinforce that since.

  14. elcapitanfiscal - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Texas id pretty much mexico..there are places here where there is 80 percent hispanic..

    Im not conplaining, im MexicAn

    • b8375629 - Jun 14, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      That’s pretty obvious since you sound pretty illiterate.

      • almart3 - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:03 AM

        “sounds” pretty illiterate? The sound is merely the echo in that empty head of yours as you mouth the written words that do not produce any sound in the format presented. How “pretty” is that?

      • miguel3557 - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        What’s “pretty obvious,” b8375629? That he’s Mexican American? So, for you, logic dictates that if one is “pretty illiterate,” then s/he is Mexican American.

        What’s pretty obvious, b8375629, is that logic is not you strong suit.

      • miguel3557 - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        What’s “pretty obvious,” b8375629? That he’s Mexican American? So, for you, logic dictates that if one is “pretty illiterate,” then s/he is Mexican American.

        What’s pretty obvious, b8375629, is that logic is not your strong suit.

      • b8375629 - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        No what’s really obvious Mee-gell is that you have a twitchy finger and post twice. Maybe you should lay off da hot sauce, don’t-cha think?


  15. gregoryproach - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    The twitter bashing of this young man is a classic example of Ignorance and the struggle of traditionalism in the face of national change. I appreciate Pop’s positive spin of the future being bright given this young man’s talents and capabilities. However, those remarkable talents not withstanding, the United States, given it’s traditionalist/conservative orientation, is generations away from racial equality and acceptance. It is what it is.

  16. txnative61 - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    A number of states including Texas formed petitions to secede from the United States following Obama’s reelection. I would put Mexican-American’s loyalty to our Constitution and democratic institutions ahead of theirs any day.

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