Posted June 14, 2013

Spurs’ Gregg Popovich blasts ‘idiots’ for racist comments about national anthem singer

2013 NBA Finals, Ben Golliver, Gregg Popovich, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich stood up for Sebastien de la Cruz, an 11-year-old raised in San Antonio who was the subject of racist tweets following his national anthem performance before Game 3 of the Finals on Tuesday.

“I would like to say that I would be shocked or surprised by the comments,” Popovich said Thursday during his pregame press conference before Game 4. “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 are of their ignorance, by printing their names next to their comments.”

The Spurs invited de la Cruz — who advanced to the semifinals on America’s Got Talent –  back to sing the national anthem again for Game 4. He performed on Tuesday wearing a Mariachi outfit that bore the Spurs’ silver and black color scheme and only sang the anthem because Darius Rucker, of Hootie & the Blowfish fame, was reportedly stuck in traffic.

“He’s a class act,” Popovich said of de la Cruz, who is in fifth grade. “Way more mature than most his age. And as much as those comments by the idiots sadden you about your country, he makes you feel that the future could be very bright.”

The San Antonio Express-News reported that de la Cruz addressed the racist messages on Wednesday.

“With the racism remarks, to be honest, it’s just the people how they were raised,” he said, according to the paper. “My father and my mother told me that you should never judge people by how they look. You should judge them on the inside. And the saying that I go by is never judge a book by its cover.”

San Antonio’s Mayor Julian Castro also expressed support for de la Cruz on his Facebook page.

“I’m proud of our young San Antonio superstar Sebastien de la Cruz for a spectacular rendition of our national anthem at last night’s Spurs game,” Castro said. “Sebastien, don’t let a few negative voices get you down. You are a true talent and you represent the best of our nation’s future!”

The New York Daily News collected a number of the offensive messages.

The Spurs hold a 2-1 series lead over the Heat in the Finals.

18 comments
Psy Power
Psy Power

The kid sang from the heart - which can't be heard by the heartless.

Edward1
Edward1

I thought he sang it in Spanish from the reporting before actually watching it...in which case I'd have been bothered. A little outfit like that is actually a tribute to our country if you think about it. He's a descendant of the people who fought on the other side in the 1800's (as well as ours). If you went back in time and told his ancestors who fought on the other side he'd be singing our anthem dressed as one of them, they'd be more upset than us. Who cares about clothes. With that said, they are the spurs. Trot him out there in a little cowboy outfit. lol

Algotdamnit
Algotdamnit

How do we know if there was any racism if Yahoo won't print them in it's so-called article?  Such lousy reporting!

glenn16
glenn16

...and SI...is anyone actually payin' attention out there? You got some incredibly rude jerks posting some inappropriate sh*t...and it really is that...SH*T!!!

glenn16
glenn16

Popovich is  a classy guy. And San Antonio is one of the GREAT cities in America. The history alone rivals anything in the 13 colonies because much of San Antonio's history is older. And there are few places in the entire world to rival the Alamo...and what it means to Texas...to America...and to Freedom...and to the Glory that exists in the Hearts of  Men. Boston...Philadelphia...I mean no disrespect. I bow in your direction. I am a Texan, but I am first an American. I simply think San Antonio's history is every bit as glorious and important to America...to Western Mankind...maybe even further than that. Yeah...I know the story is about basketball but I am a Texan so I am naturally full of (insert your own idea).

Baresark !
Baresark !

Ignorant PoWhites American have no clue of their Origin as their forefathers was immigrants form European countries....

Baresark !
Baresark !

Its the stupidity of PoWhites in America that think this great Nation is their's to say as they please...while the American people laugh at these idiots....

Baresark !
Baresark !

Its only the immoral ignorance's of PoWhites in America.....

Coonshine
Coonshine

The only redeming value of tweeter is the fact that it exposes the idiots who choose to use it..

Robert112
Robert112

Really not worth commenting on ignorant, idiotic comments. But I will say, what is wrong with child or adult, in a community that is rich in Mexican heritage and culture, demonstrating their love and pride for their culture. No different than a peron of Scottish descent wearing their kilt. Actually want to thank these mentally challenged individuals because it s just providing all of us of Mexican descent, with the resolve, purpose and committment, to continue to work together and individually , to improve the plight of al of our people. Does not surprise me that Coach Popovich came out an offered the appropriate support fo young Sebastian. Th nature Spurs organization is a class act. Dr B

joelwexler
joelwexler

Kid was fantastic. What a bunch of idiots they are.

CJH,Fl
CJH,Fl

That 11 yr old American boy stepped up and sang our national anthem with real heart which is a lot more than I can say for some recognized artists? that have totally mangled it. Thank you Sebastien for showing your true love of this country.

6marK6
6marK6

Good for Pop and this kid! This social media unfortunately gives a forum to a lot of haters and racists that would otherwise only be able to spew this nonsense to their imaginary friends.

mon1
mon1

pop should try that suit the kid has...what do guys think?

james123
james123

LOL - people were saying stuff about that kid singing??  Kids got a killer set of pipes - only thing to be said is that he stepped up in crunch time and sang the song and hit it out of the park!

Gmagnus
Gmagnus

Awesome job by da' kid!

glenn16
glenn16

@Baresark ! Funny stuff, dude! I would like some of what you're drinkin'...or smokin'... or snorting...but none of what you're inserting in various body orifices...well...just forget about it...the last idea made me feel kinda sick...no more to drink for me tonight, bartender!

MrStar7
MrStar7

@glenn16 @Baresark ! Sadly you are the PosterChild for the comment made by Baresark. Ignorant uninformed people have No clue that they are Ignorant and uninformed.