Kate Smith’s "God Bless America" out at Yankee Stadium over racist songs

Yankees dump Kate Smith’s ‘God Bless America’ from rotation... here’s why

Yankees dump Kate Smith’s ‘God Bless America’ from rotation... here’s why

Kate Smith's recording of "God Bless America" has been played during the seventh inning of the New York Yankees' games for the past 18 years, according to Sports Illustrated.

According to the New York Daily News, it's due to several songs Smith recorded in the late 1930s that include shockingly racist language and imagery.

Most famously, Smith sang a 1931 song, "That's Why Darkies Were Born", which opened: "Someone had to pick the cotton, Someone had to pick the corn, Someone had to slave and be able to sing, That's why darkies were born".

As first reported by Stefan Bondy of The Daily News, Smith recorded a song entitled "Picaninny Heaven" which was directed towards black children that dreamt of let's just say, stereotypical things.

By now, the playing of "God Bless America" has become a staple during the seventh-inning stretch at Yankees game, a tradition born out of the rubble of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, who became a fixture at Yankees games and performed the song before major regular season and playoff games, was banned in 2009 by the organization for alleged anti-semitic remarks made to a real estate agent.

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The Daily News reported that the Yankees are investigating the recordings of both of those songs, including the circumstances surrounding them, because Smith's personal feelings and intentions aren't clear.

Smith also endorsed the "Mammy doll" in 1939, frequently cited as a racist caricature of African-American women.

Known as the "Songbird of the South", Smith sold tons of World War II bonds by performing "God Bless America" during the 1940s.

The team said in a statement: "The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and chose to immediately and carefully review this new information".

For the time being, the Yankees will play a different rendition of the song but have considered implementing live performances during the middle of the seventh inning. 'The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously.

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