Decked out in a black mariachi outfit or "traje," 11-year-old Sebastien De La Cruz once again wowed the crowd at the AT&T center with his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner before game 4 of the NBA finals.
This time was different. He was introduced by Mayor Julian Castro with the First Lady of San Antonio standing by his side and when he concluded the National Anthem to the loud cheers from the crowd, Coach Gregg Popovich and Miami Heat Coach Eric Spoelstra walked onto the court, shook his hand and congratulated him.
This follows a barrage of racist tweets attacking the boy's Hispanic heritage after he sang the Star Spangled Banner Tuesday night. Some of the tweets even questioned why an "illegal" was singing the National Anthem, even though De La Cruz was born and raised in San Antonio.
Popovich expressed disappointed, but he said he wasn't surprised by the "ignorant" tweets.
"There's still an element of bigotry and racism in our nation. I'm not surprised," said Popovich.
"It still plagues us, obviously. What I was surprised by was how proud these idiots were of their ignorance by actually putting their names next to their comments," he said.