Yankees Pull Kate Smith’s ‘God Bless America’ From Games


Fans stand at Yankee Stadium in New York. 

Photographer: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images North America

The seventh-inning stretch at Yankee Stadium may never sound the same.

The New York Yankees have stopped playing Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” after another song with racist overtones that she recorded 90 years ago came to light, according to news reports.

The Yankees had used her 1939 recording of the Irving Berlin classic since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They used an organ version at games on Wednesday and Thursday, according to CBS News.

“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 New York Daily News reported a club statement as saying.

A Yankees official declined to comment.

The Philadelphia Flyers, who used Smith as a mascot of sorts, will drop the song too. They’ll also cover a statue of her that’s been in front of their arena since 1987. One of the songs in question, which Smith first recorded in 1931 but didn’t write, is called “That’s Why Darkies Were Born.”

“We have recently become aware that several songs performed by Kate Smith contain offensive lyrics that do not reflect our values as an organization,” the Flyers said in a statement. The team said it’s continuing to review the matter.

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