If you've ever been to a Philadelphia Flyers home game, you know it often starts in the same way: with Kate Smith. Smith who was known as "the first lady of radio" had a version of "God Bless America" that was played at important games going back to 1969. Very often that video was played on the big screens with the late Smith doing the song, sometimes alongside live singers.
All that's about to change though, as The Flyers/Wells Fargo Center are following the lead of The New York Yankees and cutting all ties with Smith.
Earlier this week it was brought to light that the Yankees would no longer have any affiliation to Smith, due to a history of potential racism, which included some song lyrics. Now in a new statement The Flyers say they will stop using her version of the song, and cover up the statue that sits near the Wells Fargo Center.
“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. "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.”
While Kate isn't alive to defend the decision, it seems like one that had to be made.