Anthem singer returns to Finals despite racist tweets

Sebastien De La Cruz, the 11-year-old mariachi singer who became famous last year because of his impressive performances on “America’s Got Talent”, was back in the headlines this week, not because of his outstanding rendition of the national anthem before Game 3 of the NBA Finals in San Antonio, but because of the slew of hateful and racist tweets that the young Spurs fan had to endure after his performance. 

De La Cruz believed it was because of what he was wearing that some very hateful people filled up his Twitter feed.

“The people were talking bad because of what I was wearing and it’s not my fault,” De La Cruz told KTRK in Houston. “It’s what I love and I’m just proud to be a mariachi singer.”

Former Hootie and the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker was scheduled to sing before Game 3, but could not make it at the last minute. So the Spurs asked De La Cruz to step in.  The Spurs fan was just doing his part for his team … yet was subject to a nasty hashtag that spread across Twitter, tell him to #GoHome.

He didn’t … he returned for Game 4, wearing his mariachi outfit. But this time, De La Cruz had a new fan in his corner who used his Twitter account to make sure people tuned in to watch.

“Don’t miss @selcharrodeoro‘s encore performance of the national anthem at the #NBAFinals in San Antonio tonight,” President Barack Obama tweeted before the game.

De La Cruz delivered another flawless performance on Thursday night. 

De La Cruz was greeted by a standing ovation as he walked on the court, and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra walked over and shook his hand after he sang.

While De La Cruz took the high ground after Game 3, Popovich seemed more then just a little upset when asked about the racism spewed by some on Twitter.

“He’s a class act,” Popovich said. “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.”

De La Cruz took everything in stride and reminded his fans that he is fine, living the American dream.

“Please do not pay attention to the negative people,” De La Cruz tweeted on his personal account, @selcharrodeoro. “I am an American living the American Dream. This is part of the American life.”

Known as “El Charro de Oro,” De La Cruz stole America’s hearts on Season 7 of “America’s Got Talent”.  Along with his full mariachi band, De La Cruz advanced to the semifinals before being eliminated one episode short of the final round.