SAN ANTONIO, Texas - When 11-year-old Sebastien De La Cruz belted out the Star Spangled Banner at Game 3 of the NBA Finals, the former “America’s Got Talent” contestant was showered with praise and applause from the stadium’s audience, but the performance went viral after it sparked a flurry of racist social media comments.
Wearing a traditional mariachi outfit, the singer, born in San Antonio, Texas , sang his heart out Tuesday night, unaware he was a target of angry detractors on Twitter.
A Tumblr blog called Public Shaming documented several negative Twitter comments, expressing anger that the Mexican-American boy would sing the anthem.
“This lil Mexican snuck in the country like 4 hours ago no he singing the anthem,” wrote Francois. “Why they got a Mexican kid singing the national anthem -___- Daniel Gilmore wrote on Twitter.
"How you singing the national anthem looking like an illegal immigrant" tweeted Andre Lacey, a proud father and firefighter from Augusta, Georgia, CNN reports.
However, many people came to his defense.
"Why are ppl so upset over a Hispanic singing the national anthem. He's probably got more roots in here than most 'Americans'," said Amanda Aguirre on Twitter.
Despite the barrage of negative comments, the young singer, called “the boy with the golden voice” is taking it in stride.
He tweeted, “Please do not pay attention to the negative people. I am an American living the American Dream. This is part of the American life.” Read CNN’s full report here: http://wfts.tv/11bkYxP
See De La Cruz's performance on YouTube, watch below or click here: http://bit.ly/13YqsKK
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A local actor is in a race against time – and a broken leg – to get back on stage before the Christmas-themed show, in which he is a featured singer, ends its run on December 22.