The racists couldn't keep him down. The crowd at Thursday night's NBA Finals game between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat gave 11-year-old Sebastien De La Cruz a roaring standing ovation as he returned to sing the national anthem again.
De La Cruz sang the anthem Tuesday night as well. After that performance, he was called numerous racial slurs by Twitter users. Many of the tweets assumed that De La Cruz was Mexican, perhaps due to his traditional mariachi costume, and went on to insult that country.
De La Cruz, again wearing mariachi clothing, was introduced on the court by San Antonio's mayor, Julian Castro. After singing, he was congratulated by Gregg Popovich, coach of the Spurs, and Erik Spoelstra, coach of the Heat.
Before De La Cruz performed, actress Eva Longoria sent a tweet saying, "As a Mexican-American, I am so proud of Sebastian De La Cruz, a great symbol of what America is today!"
De La Cruz first gained fame when he made it to the semifinals of "America's Got Talent" last season.
He responded to the racist tweets with a tweet of his own, writing, "Please do not pay attention to the negative people. I am an American living the American Dream. This is part of the American life."
Many of those who posted racist messages have since deleted their Twitter accounts.