Sabastian De La Cruz ensured racist insults online after he sang the national anthem before Game 3 of the NBA Finals, but it didn’t stop him from coming back for more.
The 11-year-old boy was back on the court for Game 4, getting a rousing ovation from the Spurs faithful. The young singer, who was discovered on America’s Got Talent, was introduced by San Antonio mayor Julian Castro.
It was a much different reception than the first time Sebastian De La Cruz stepped onto the court to sing. Wearing a traditional mariachi outfit, the boy became the target of racist tirades on Twitter after his Game 3 performance.
One user wrote: “Can’t believe they had the nerve to have a beaner singing the national anthem of America #smh.”
Another added: “There’s a little Mexican kid singing the national anthem… What has the world come to?”
For his part, De La Cruz seemed to have a good attitude about the whole thing.
“I think the people were talking bad because of what I was wearing and it’s not my fault.” he 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.”
Part of the ovation for Sabastian De La Cruz before Game 4 may have been superstition. The Spurs played so well in a Game 3 blowout of the Miami Heat that the team decided to ask him to come back and sing again, hoping to recapture some of the magic of the blowout.
It didn’t work out as well this time for the Spurs, who lost 109-93 as Miami evened the series. The Spurs haven’t announced if Sebastian De La Cruz will be back to sing the anthem again in Game 5, the final one of the series in San Antonio.