Flyers remove Kate Smith statue after reviewing racist allegations

Kate Smith statue gone from Xfinity Live

A statue in honor of Smith was covered and dismantled on April 22 outside of the Philadelphia Flyers' arena where her version of "God Bless America" was also played before games.

"The NHL principle "Hockey is for Everyone" is at the heart of everything the Flyers stand for", he said. 'As a result, we can not stand idle while material from another era gets in the way of who we are today'.

The Yankees suspended use of Smith's recording during the seventh-inning stretch amid conflicting claims about several of her songs, including a 1939 number entitled, 'That's Why the Darkies Were Born'. "That's Why Darkies Were Born" was first performed in 1931 through 'George White's Scandals, ' a series of Broadway revues.

Smith, who died in 1986, was also questioned for promoting "Mammy Dolls" in 1939, which were dolls based on a caricature of a black woman reminiscent of the fictional character Aunt Jemima, which a PepsiCo subsidiary used to market pancake mix, syrup, and other breakfast foods.

The Flyers considered Smith's live performance of "God Bless America" before Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Final to be good luck.

She went on to sing the song at Philadelphia's Spectrum on four occasions, including Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals when the Flyers secured the first of their two National Hockey League titles.

While talking about the Kate Smith situation and how she's being railroaded without any proof that she was in fact a racist, I wanted to have some Philadelphia sports people on, but it's hard because they all either work or have a connection to the team. "And to ensure the sentiments stirred this week are no longer echoed, earlier today we completed the removal of the Kate Smith statue from its former location outside of our arena".

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Smith, whose fame peaked during World War II, once recorded a song "Pickaninny Heaven" about "colored children" who dream about a paradise full of giant watermelons.

"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 to CNN.

However, the Flyers announced late last week that they would stop playing Smith's version of the song and cover up her statue.

Ronald Reagan at one point had even awarded Smith a Presidential Medal of Honor for her patriotic contributions to the USA during World War II.

The racist stereotypes employed in that song are part of the reason Smith is back in the spotlight.

"I'm appalled", Suzy Andron, Smith's niece, told the station Sunday evening with her husband Bob Andron at her side.

Smith's version of "God Bless America" has been replaced at Yankee Stadium by other versions. She also sang 1931's "That's Why Darkies Were Born", which noted that "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". She was certainly anything but a prejudice person.

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