PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Flyers have removed the Kate Smith statue from the Sports Complex in South Philly following allegations of racism. The Flyers initially covered up the statue with a black drape after learning about the singer’s alleged history of racism on Friday.
They also announced they would stop using Smith’s recording of “God Bless America.”
“But in recent days, we learned that several of the songs Kate Smith performed in the 1930s include lyrics and sentiments that are incompatible with the values of our organization, and evoke painful and unacceptable themes,” the Flyers said in a statement.
The statement continued, “We have recently become aware that several songs performed by Kate Smith contain offensive lyrics that do not reflect our values as an organization. As we continue to look into this serious matter, we are removing Kate Smith’s recording of ‘God Bless America’ from our library and covering up the statue that stands outside of our arena.”
Smith’s legacy is now under the microscope with new attention of racist songs and advertisements that was part of her career.
The New York Yankees said they will no longer play Smith’s recording as they research and discuss her history. The Yankees stopped using her rendition during the seventh inning this year, first reported by the New York Daily News.
According to the report, Smith allegedly has a history of singing songs with racist language, such as “Pickaninny Heaven” and “That’s Why Darkies Were Born.”