The Associated Press
NORMAN — Sebastien De La Cruz is a talented singer. He is 11. He is an American. None of that mattered following his singing of the National Anthem before Game 3 of the NBA championship Tuesday night in San Antonio matching the San Antonio Spurs against the Miami Heat.
Cruz had substituted for popular singer Darius Rucker when Rucker had a scheduling conflict. Cruz stepped in wearing his mariachi outfit and sang the anthem a cappella with a mariachi flare. And he did a wonderful job.
The world of faceless, often anonymous, and usually cowardly Internet postings, however, went berserk. The comments were so foul that Youtube disabled the comments.
Not only did Cruz nail the song, he later handled the racist insults with maturity and understanding far beyond his years.
“My father and my mama told me you should never judge people by how they look,” he told KENS-5 in San Antonio.
“For those that said something bad about me, I understand it’s your opinion,” Sebastien told CNN. “I’m a proud American and live in a free country. It’s not hurting me. It’s just your opinion.”
He encouraged his fans to disregard the hatred as he will continue to “live the American dream,” and “this is part of the American life.”
He also said he was born in San Antonio and his father is a Navy veteran.
What a proud moment for all of America. And the best of all was that the Spurs had their own answer for the cowards. They invited Cruz back to sing the anthem for Game 3.
— Tulsa World