Friday, June 14th, 2013 at 10:10 am  |  42 responses

Gregg Popovich Blasts Racists Against 11-Year-Old National Anthem Singer

Prior to Game 3 and 4 of the NBA Finals in San Antonio, 11-year old Sebastien de la Cruz sang the national anthem. For his troubles, crazed racists attacked him online with vicious remarks. The youngster met with both Erik Spoesltra and Gregg Popovich last night, and the Spurs head coach ripped the kid’s critics. Per the Express-News: “Spurs coach Gregg Popovich offered words of encouragement for Sebastien De La Cruz, the young San Antonian who drew a flurry of racist comments on Twitter after singing the national anthem Tuesday at Game 3 of the NBA Finals. ‘I would like to say I would be shocked or surprised by the comments,’ Popovich said about an hour before tipoff of Thursday’s Game 4 at the AT&T Center. ‘But given the fact that there’s still a significant element of bigotry and racism in our nation, I’m not surprised. It still plagues us, obviously. And what I was surprised by was how proud these idiots were of their ignorance by printing their names next to their comments. (De La Cruz) is a class act. 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, 11, was a last-minute replacement for Darius Rucker, who experienced travel problems and missed his scheduled singing of the national anthem. The boy appeared on television’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ last year, and in April performed with the San Antonio Symphony at its traditional Fiesta Pops concert.”

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  • Jay Brodes

    good for pop and good for the kid. i hate internet tough guys/girls..kinda pathetic!

  • OfftheWall87

    Love it Pop.

  • bike

    That kid has hell of a set of pipes on him.

  • Enigmatic

    Pop is so awesome. You know he rarely even likes to talk about his coaching strategies, let alone anything non-basketball related. So for him to speak out on this, you know he really means what he says and it really bothered him.

    Sadly, I can relate to the kid. Despite being a veteran and proud American myself, I’ll always be considered an outsider and foreigner to some in our society simply due to my skin color, name, whatever.

    I probably would have been very hurt and angry about this if I were him. But I’m glad he’s mature and smart enough to know most Americans embrace him as one of their own, good for him.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    Props to Pops. “And what I was surprised by was how proud these idiots were of their ignorance by printing their names next to their comments.” That’s how I feel whenever I see ignorant comments online.

  • just about right

    Nice, enigmatic is back. Keep posting dude

  • Dfrance

    Kudos to Pop. Reading some of these message boards can be maddening with the ignorance that is so freely thrown around. I’m glad that we don’t have that problem here on the SLAM comment section.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    THE RETURN OF ENIGMATIC? Whaddup Rigo?!?!

  • Enigmatic

    Just had some time to kill before class, thought I’d drop by. How you been?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk


  • fruizm

    What do you US commentators think about this? Im from Mexico but Im not sure if I would be too happy if for example, before a soccer game at Estadio Azteca, a Mexican-American kid sings the Mexican anthem. I wouldnt hate either, but I dont how would the crowd react.

  • KipSmithers

    Good on Pops!

  • davidR

    fruizm, i can understand that happening in mexico. in the US tho, it’s seen as pretty ignorant (and stupid) considering the country was built by immigrants.

    we have people of all races singing the national anthem all the time. ignorant people tend to fear what they dont understand. they see a kid in a traditional mexican fit, and they assume he’s not a US citizen

  • B!

    There are a lot of twidiots & instagramorons out there. Everyone’s tough online, in their car or with their crew but when confronted alone there isn’t tough bone in their body. Oh and feel free to use twidiots & instagramorons since I’m to broke to have them copyrighted.

  • speedy

    As often as their is dispute on these slam comment sections regarding the sport we love, it’s nice to see, that slam commentors don’t dispute the fact, that ignorance and racism have to be named and shamed and fought.
    Good job pops.

  • Allan

    Hi Haters

  • ZOGS


  • LakeShow

    The internet allows people to show their true colors. It’s so sad that we have to live with people of such ignorance, but I choose freedom over oppression.

    So I guess we’ll let them live their filthy, useless lives, rotting away, hating everything.

    Serves them right.

  • LakeShow

    lol…. as awful as you are…
    Slam wouldn’t be the same without you ZOGS…

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ben Osborne

    Tell em Pop!

  • Ugh

    Sexism and homophobia, on the other hand, is still a hotly disputed bed of bigotry.

  • speedy


  • Big Pete

    homophobia is way different then racism… you dont choose your race

  • MikeC.

    Welcome back homie. How’s Alaska nowadays?

  • MikeC.


  • MikeC.

    Opposite of props.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Since when is America free?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I hate… so much about the things you choose to be.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Ironically, Mexicans and their ancestors were in America (North AND South) for thousands of years before the ancestors of these white racists tried sailing to India… in the opposite f*cking direction of Asia. Biggest geography fail ever.

    Brown/black hispanic people will soon be a majority in the US, and rightfully so. Praise Hayseuss.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Duh, it’s different. It’s still wrong and it’s still discrimination. Why is that hard to understand?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    There was a shocking # of black people on Twitter saying racist anti-Mexican sh!t too, along with who I’m sure were some self-hating Latinos… One guy was named Vincent Ramos, LOL. Are you kidding me?

    There’s nothing sadder than when POC internalize white supremacy.

  • Happy

    It happens way more often than people are willing to admit. As a black man, few things disgust me more than when people of color display that caucasian-infused hatred against one another. I can think of very few more counter-productive, anti-progressive mentalites than people of color being against other people of color. It’s not surprising, just baffling. If you live in country where whites are only the majority by specific racial group, yet still control every single important establishment in this country by a laughably huge margin, shouldn’t there be more cooperation for the sake of equal representation? Why feed into this manufactured hatred when collectively there is work to be done? It’s stupid to me. I was ashamed of every black person who made an ignorant remark towards this kid. Ashamed to the point of anger.

  • Enigmatic

    Thanks. I left there last year. In Illinois now to finish up my bachelor’s. Leaving Illinois next year to pursue my master’s, not sure where to though. Haha I haven’t lived in one place for more than 3 years since 2003…

  • Enigmatic

    There’s always been tension between blacks and non-black Latinos. I really can’t blame black people for the anti-Mexican sentiments too much. Even though we both know there are plenty of black Latinos, in most Latin-American countries they chose to either embrace or simply accept people of African descent.

    In Mexico, however, even though there were/are plenty of Mexicans of African descent, most of the population chooses to either ignore or deny their existence. They’re ingrained in the fabric of the culture, from the food to the music, but are denied their proper place in society.

    I’m personally ashamed of this because I always assumed Mexico was more tolerant of black people since their refusal to allow American expatriates to take their slaves to Mexico was one of the reasons for the Mexican-American war. But it turns out Mexico is just as racist and intolerant. Meanwhile, blond-haired/blue-eyed Mexicans make up a small amount of the population, but are the majority of movie stars, singers, etc. Go figure.

  • geomar

    As a Filipino I can tell you that our movie stars also tend to have a Euro look to them. It’s a self hatred that is celebrated in too many formerly colonized countries. I agree with Happy and Teddy that people of color need to stop drinking the brown on brown hate.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Dude I remember sometime last year (or was it a few years ago?) you were considering whether or not to go back to school… I guess you chose school! Congratulations holmes, I’m really happy for you.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Well said, comrade. I co-sign that 100%.

  • Enigmatic

    Yeah, after 3 years at my boring job I decided to go back and finish so I could possibly land a career at a not-boring job. I’ll graduate next May and am currently looking at grad schools. I might go overseas to the UK for my master’s because, why not?

    Thanks man, this was definitely the right decision. I felt even better about it after making the dean’s list this past semester, something I never thought I’d be able to do.

  • Punk, Funk and Dunks

    as a hispanic man living in this country……thanks pop…. we’re all in this crap world together lets at least make the best of it………go spurs !

  • LakeShow

    I said it was?
    Well, yeah I guess I eluded it was.
    What I meant is: “I’ll take freedom of speech over oppression.”

    Of course America is not free.

    No more than England of France anyway.

  • z

    I seriously love the man u just quoted: Michael Scott. U and I must been separated at birth: commies who love ball and the office

  • Sean Superstar Juan

    Homosexuality is a behavior, race isn’t. You’re 100% correct.