The family of Kate Smith, singer of "God Bless America", would have been "torn" by the news that two teams of professional sportsmen have recently decided not to play the emblematic recording of the patriotic song of the patriotic song Irving Berlin during of their matches.
The New York Baseball Yankees and the Philadelphia Flyers Hockey announced this decision last week, after learning that Smith – who died in 1986 at age 79 – had recorded songs containing racist lyrics and appeared in an advertisement including images. racist.
WATCH: 99-YEAR WORLD WAR SECOND VETERAN SINGS "GOD BLESS AMERICA" AT BASEBALL GAME
A statue of Smith at the Philadelphia Sports Complex was covered with a black cloth after the Flyers made their decision.
But a niece of the famous singer said Saturday that both sports teams had misunderstood Smith's story.
"Aunt Kathryn has not really seen any color," Suzy Andron told USA Today on Saturday. "She has not seen the color of a person. She was very in tune with the character of a person. I've always thought that it was a model, not seeing the color of a person but seeing his character. And that's why I'm incredibly sad.
"Aunt Kathryn really did not see any color, she did not see the color of a person, she was very much in tune with a person's character."
Andron told the newspaper that she was angry "that a woman who has been dead for nearly 35 years is being attacked this way."
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She and her husband, Bob, also noted that Smith helped raise millions of dollars for US military efforts during the Second World War. They said they hoped that Smith's fans would continue to sing "God Bless America" even though they were not accompanied by the iconic recording of that song in the 1930s.
Ten years ago, the Yankees broke ties with singer Ronan Tynan, who had played "God Bless America" for the team after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as Tynan reportedly made anti-Semitic remarks.