Young Mariachi singer slammed over Game 3 National Anthem

Racist Tweets targeted at Sebastien de la Cruz, 11

Author: Van Darden, Web Editor,
Published On: Jun 12 2013 12:07:33 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 13 2013 03:34:47 PM CDT
Spurs Heat Game 3 pic 9

Sebastien de la Cruz, 11, the boy who sang the National Anthem at Tuesday night's NBA Finals Game 3, is himself taking some heat from people apparently angry that a Mexican-American was asked to sing the song.

Judging by the roar of the crowd Tuesday night, de la Cruz said he thought everyone enjoyed his rendition of the national anthem.

"To me, when I heard the crowd roaring, when I was finished, I knew that I did my job," said de la Cruz. "And when I saw the crowd stand up when I was singing, it was just amazing."

De la Cruz, who was born and raised in San Antonio and appeared last year on the TV show "America's Got Talent" as a Mariachi singer, has been targeted by people on social media sites, many of whom have used racial epithets and slurs.

One user wrote, "Bet u that little beaner hopped the border just to sing the national anthem."

Another user wrote, "Whys is a foreigner singing the national anthem. I realize it's in San Antonio, but that still ain't Mexico."

The Tumblr page Public Shaming has itself dedicated a page to collecting the Tweets -- and exposing the Twitter users who published them.

However, de la Cruz says he's a proud American and that's not going to stop his singing career.

"I think the people were talking bad because of what I was wearing and it's not my fault," said de la Cruz. "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."

De la Cruz's mother, Stacy de la Cruz, said the comments were hurtful, but her son handled it well.

"He said, 'Mom, I know about everything. I'm fine. Don't let it bother you,' and he said, 'Please don't cry over this,'" she said.

However, soon after those negative online comments began to emerge, KSAT's Facebook page was inundated with comments of supportĀ for Sebastian de la Cruz.

He said he has also received positive emails and phone calls from hundreds of people who said they are standing behind him.

Plus, it helps to get the support of the San Antonio Spurs.

"Just being able to get a handshake from Gary Neal, Danny Green, Duncan, Parker and Ginobli," he said. "It's just amazing to know people support me."

De la Cruz said he has not been contacted to sing the national anthem again, but if someone calls, he will be ready.

For a list of recent stories Stephanie Serna has done, click here.