HEAT ALERT

Heat advisory continues in New Jersey as highs approach near 100 degrees

Yankees, Flyers drop Kate Smith’s “God Bless America’ amid racial concerns

The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers have stopped using singer Kate Smith’s 1939 rendition of “God Bless America” at their games due to allegations of racism against the singer.

News 12 Staff

Apr 19, 2019, 11:28 AM

Updated 1,890 days ago

Share:

The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers have stopped using singer Kate Smith’s 1939 rendition of “God Bless America” at their games due to allegations of racism against the singer.
The New York Daily News reported Thursday there are conflicting claims about Smith's 1939 song "That's Why Darkies Were Born." The song originated in the 1931 Broadway revue "George White's Scandals," and was considered satire. It was recorded by Smith and also by Paul Robeson, who was black.
Yankees officials said in a statement: "The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information. The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously. And while no final conclusions have been made, we are erring on the side of sensitivity."
The Flyers have also chosen to cover a statue of Smith that is outside the Wells Fargo Center where the team plays. Flyers officials say that some of Smith’s songs “contain offensive lyrics that do not reflect our values as an organization."
Smith's connection with the Flyers started in 1969 when a team executive ordered her version of "God Bless America" to be played instead of "The Star-Spangled Banner." That led to her performing the song several times before games in the 1970s.
The Yankees have used her recording of "God Bless America" and sometimes live singers during the seventh inning since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. They have used her version twice this season and have mostly played an organ version.
Smith died in 1986.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


More from News 12
2:05
‘Highway robbery at its finest.’ Commuters frustrated with NJ Transit, Amtrak issues as train delays pile up

‘Highway robbery at its finest.’ Commuters frustrated with NJ Transit, Amtrak issues as train delays pile up

2:21
HEAT ALERT: Feels-like temps in New Jersey approach 100 today; tracking evening pop-up storms

HEAT ALERT: Feels-like temps in New Jersey approach 100 today; tracking evening pop-up storms

0:28
Police: Multiple fights break out at Westwood High School graduation

Police: Multiple fights break out at Westwood High School graduation

1:37
Crowds expected to flock to the Jersey Shore Friday amid sweltering heat wave

Crowds expected to flock to the Jersey Shore Friday amid sweltering heat wave

0:41
Trenton restaurant owner accused of sexually assaulting multiple women

Trenton restaurant owner accused of sexually assaulting multiple women

0:17
Police: Child escapes stolen car in Paterson; suspect sought

Police: Child escapes stolen car in Paterson; suspect sought

0:24
Costco recalls portable charger over fire concerns

Costco recalls portable charger over fire concerns

1:35
Paws & Pals: 2-year-old Prancer now available for adoption

Paws & Pals: 2-year-old Prancer now available for adoption

0:33
Jersey Proud: Livingston crossing guard retires after 30 years

Jersey Proud: Livingston crossing guard retires after 30 years

0:45
Rep. Gottheimer announces federal security action ahead of 2026 FIFA World Cup

Rep. Gottheimer announces federal security action ahead of 2026 FIFA World Cup

0:58
Grand jury declines to file charges in deadly 2023 police shooting in Fort Lee

Grand jury declines to file charges in deadly 2023 police shooting in Fort Lee

2:42
Heading to the Jersey Shore to escape the heat? Beware of the cold ocean water

Heading to the Jersey Shore to escape the heat? Beware of the cold ocean water

1:24
Brushfire along New Jersey Turnpike in Secaucus snarls traffic, causes NJ Transit delays

Brushfire along New Jersey Turnpike in Secaucus snarls traffic, causes NJ Transit delays

0:53
Boil water advisory issued for parts of Edison following water main break

Boil water advisory issued for parts of Edison following water main break

2:59
Summer fun! News 12’s Dave Curren visits State Fair Meadowlands

Summer fun! News 12’s Dave Curren visits State Fair Meadowlands

2:06
‘Operation After Dark’ nets 78 arrests, thousands in fines in illegal club crackdown in Paterson

‘Operation After Dark’ nets 78 arrests, thousands in fines in illegal club crackdown in Paterson

1:43
Best Beaches: Checking out the ocean beaches at Brick Township

Best Beaches: Checking out the ocean beaches at Brick Township

2:00
Climbing to new heights at Iron Peak Sports & Events in Hillsborough

Climbing to new heights at Iron Peak Sports & Events in Hillsborough

1:28
George Norcross' longtime lawyer called to step down from Rutgers Board of Governors

George Norcross' longtime lawyer called to step down from Rutgers Board of Governors

0:20
Historic Battleship New Jersey returns to Camden waterfront following weeks of repairs

Historic Battleship New Jersey returns to Camden waterfront following weeks of repairs