Following allegations of racism in some of the songs sung by the late Kate Smith, whose rendition of 'God Bless America' could be heard at every New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers home games, both organizations made the decision to distance themselves from the singer in their sincerest damage control efforts.
In the process, however, they've enraged a portion of their fan bases which are now threatening retribution. Both Flyers and Yankees fans claim they will boycott their teams' home games in response to the move to remove Smith's version of the patriotic song from their agenda altogether.
Yankees fans threaten boycott after ban of Kate Smith's 'God Bless America' https://t.co/IR1E0xxNEC— 🇺🇸USA-1st🇺🇸 (@USA_Marine1) May 12, 2019
Flyers fans have the most organized movement, as their petition already has over 10,000 signatures. The Yankees, meanwhile, have a small yet vocal group.
“Your father [George Steinbrenner] is turning in his grave,” Bronx native James Foley wrote in a letter to Hal Steinbrenner. “Why not purge the lot of them and be honest about your political correctness. Remove the plaques from Monument Park.”
Smith's niece has also come out in defense of her late aunt, stating that she was not a racist after all.
“Most are solidly behind the positive notion that this is a misunderstanding by a few people who took two or three of her songs [out of 3,000 that she recorded] out of context and inflated a story that my Aunt Kathryn must have been a racist,” Suzy Andron said. “Unfortunately, the Yankees bought into it.”
This story surely is not going away anytime soon.